App Contest Could Improve Chicago Living

October 11, 2011

Get out your smartphones, Chicago residents: You have an app to pick.

The finalists have been chosen in the Apps for Metro Chicago Community Round, a contest in which developers were asked to turn Cook County government data into useful applications for its residents. Now it’s up to the public to vote.

The contest provided more than 200 data sets from the city, county and state and challenged developers to design applications that would profoundly impact our residents’ lives.

Among the top 10 finalists:

*iFindIt Chicago: Provides users with more than 2,500 shelter, food and medical resources with one touch.

*Vacant and Abandoned Building Finder: Helps people and organizations find empty buildings in Chicago that are potentially dangerous to the neighborhood and its residents.

*Fixit!: Allows Chicago residents to report problems that require city attention, like property damage, potholes or tree debris.

“This competition will allow individuals to interact directly with their government and make a large difference in the way we live in Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Data belongs to the people, and there is an enormous desire on the part of residents to participate in government and find ways to contribute. This competition will allow them to create innovative solutions and experiment with applications that can make all of our lives better.”

This is the first apps competition in the country to combine data sets from multiple governmental agencies and regional planning organizations.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is awarding $50,000 in prizes during the three-round competition. This is the second round.

The first round produced 12 transportation-based apps. The final round has no theme and a $10,000 prize. That contest, which will involve public voting, too, will end December 16.

The prize for this, the Community Round, is $5,000. The public can vote until October 14; actually, October 13, since the cut-off time is 4 a.m.

So, visit appsformetrochicago.com now and vote for your favorite. It could change the way you live in Chicago.

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[…] Selector was one of the submission in the city’s Apps for Metro Chicago contest, but it did not place. That doesn’t seem to bother city […]

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