The WhitePages PRO API Mashup Contest gives developers a chance to win $1,000 in two categories: Innovation and Humanitarian.
WhitePages uses graph database technology to store massive amounts of contact data for people and businesses. The nature of graph data makes interesting things possible. Developers can "traverse the graph," moving from node to node using the connections between them. So starting with a call from a cell phone number, you could figure out the name of the person who owns it, then the address where that person lives, who lives near that address, and all of those people's mobile phone numbers. You could create an app that starts with an incoming phone number, then figures out everyone who lives in the caller's apartment building — and send all the neighbors a text message! That might not win the Innovation award, but you can start to see the possibilities.
What is the Humanitarian category? WhitePages is hoping developers will "use data for good." Internally, it is talking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about ways to text message everyone in an affected area about an infectious outbreak.
WhitePages PRO recently opened up its API for general developer use. WhitePages announced the contest as part of this larger effort to build a developer ecosystem.
Interestingly, there is also a sweepstakes in the contest. Everyone who participates — not just the two category winners — has a chance to win something.