Editor’s note: Devin White, 14, is an aspiring inventor and youth blogger for this site.
By Devin White
Are you the kind of kid who has all of these great ideas on how tourists or locals can find things in your city?
Well I’m happy to tell you that your contest has arrived.
Apps for Democracy is in its second year of competition and running stronger than ever. In the fall of 2008, DC’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer asked iStrategyLabs how it could make DC gov’s Data Catalog useful for the citizens, visitors, businesses and government agencies of Washington, D.C.
The Data Catalog contains all manner of open public data featuring real-time crime feeds, school test scores, and poverty indicators, and is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. This means everything from maps, to bike routes, to historic sites, to tour guides. Everything is there.
So, iStrategyLabs comes up with this contest. You come up with the idea, they open the data base and if they have the info that your idea uses, you’ve got a great chance of making it far in the contest. This contest is ideal. It is pretty kid friendly and it allows us kids to invent to make our nation’s capital a better place to visit.
Hey, you will probably go to Washington, D.C. at least once if you’re lucky and if your idea gets chosen in this contest, thousands of people who visit Washington with their iTouches and iPhones will be utilizing your idea.
Did I mention that they give away about $35,000 in prize money, sometimes more? This contest is highly valued by our capital city. Straight from the site:
The first edition of Apps for Democracy yielded 47 Web, iPhone and Facebook apps in 30 days – a $2.3 million value to the city at a cost of $50,000.
“Apps for Democracy produced more savings for the D.C. government than any other initiative.” – Vivek Kundra, former CTO of Washington, D.C., and current federal CIO.
So, check out www.appsfordemocracy.org, download your free app builder to play around with, and if you enter the contest definitely add a comment below – I’d love to say congratulations. Let’s Show the World. Don’t Stop Thinking.