Apps for Democracy Contest Mashes-up Washington D.C.

The winners of Washington D.C.'s Apps for Democracy mashup contest were announced by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and CTO Vivek Kundra. The contest invited software developers to utilize Washington's large public data catalog to develop applications that will make the data more readily accessible and useful for citizens. Mayor Fenty said:

"My administration is committed to making government more accessible and more transparent, and through this contest we've gotten help from the most talented developers. I'm delighted with the responses. With these innovative applications, we can put government literally in the hands of the people."

Increasing government transparency is a central focus for CTO Kundra. O'Reilly Radar's Jim Stodgill heard Kundra speak at an Intelligence Community Conference in September:

I was impressed with the risks he was taking to push hard for the "democratization of data" and for what he was calling The Digital Public Square. What came through really clearly was that he didn't just view this as a technology exercise, but as a way for citizens to participate in real ways and to increase government accountability.

The competition was open to government agencies as well as independent developers. A prize pool of $20,000 was budgeted for the top entries, with the gold medalists receiving $2,000.

The gold medal winner in the government agency category was D.C. Historic Tours, developed by Adam Boalt of Boalt Interactive. This mashup applies Google Maps with Flickr feeds and Wikipedia entries. If you're planning a trip to Washington soon, you'll want to try it out.

In indie gold medal winner was, by Travis Hurant, Tim Koelkebeck, and Brian Sobel. is an information aggregation tool for people who live, or plan to live, in Washington, D.C. You enter an address, and the application provides a host of useful information, such as distances to the nearest shopping center and post office, crime data, and demographic data for that neighborhood.

You can read about and try out all the winning entries by visiting the Apps for Democracy Medal Winners page.

And you can always use our Mashup Contests guide to keep-up with the latest contests.

Be sure to read the next API article: Mashup Scentific Publishing in the Elsevier Article API Contest