A matchmaking service for people and neighborhoods? A wildfire warning system that can alert homeowners via tweet? These are just a few of over 80 excellent mashups submitted to the recent MashupAustralia contest.
MashupAustralia was launched by the Government 2.0 Taskforce, an organization that advises the Australian government on ways in which government information can be made more accessible and collaborative.
Contest organizer Mia Garlick explained how MashupAustralia was created to demonstrate that access to open, standards based government data can provide social benefits:
"The contest was designed to provide a practical demonstration of the benefits that open access to public sector information can provide. We asked you – the community – to help us with this. We released some datasets on terms and in formats that enable reuse and asked you to help us show the benefit that can result. And show us you did."
MashupAustralia's top prizes, known as "Mashies," awarded $10,000 AUD each to two projects that aggregate census and crime data behind user-friendly interfaces. Know Where You Live, shown below, provides users with a set of economic infographics about their city. Suburban Trends allows residents to compare relative social metrics of neighborhoods using interactive maps and dashboards.
Other projects were recognized by honorable mention. Firemash combines features from the Twitter, Yahoo! Placemaker, and Google Maps APIs into a crowdsourced wildfire alert tool. The MashupAustralia People's Choice award went to the amazing In Their Honor, a virtual war memorial combining map locations of Australian memorial sites along with with historical information and related images from the Flickr API.
While many of the contest entries used features from publicly available APIs, some of the entries in the mashup contest actually provided APIs of their own. See the complete list of MashupAustralia's entries for more information. Don't forget to check out Programmable Web's huge collection of government APIs and mashups.