San Francisco tapping into tech-savvy citizens

Oct 02, 2009
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has a new App Showcase for programs that make use of government information available online at DataSF.org.

San Francisco is letting citizens create software tools to exploit city data for the public good.

Apple has its App Store for mini-applications tailored for iPhones and devices. Now, San Francisco has an App Showcase for programs that make use of government information available online at DataSF.org.

Freshly-launched Showcase has been such a hit that San Francisco will host a first DataSF App contest on November 7, Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

"We were not sure what people would create with the data, but we knew that many of our talented developers wanted to help improve San Francisco," Newsom said in a release.

"Now, our community is coming together to help fill our app store with even more civic apps."

Showcase has a Mom Maps application that lets people use iPhones to find child-friendly spots in San Francisco and an EcoFinder program that lets people use the Apple smart phones for recycling guidance in their neighborhoods.

A Routesy application provides real time information about getting around on public transit. Crimespotting software turns police activity information into an online, interactive map of crime in the city.

"This is just the beginning," Newsom said when Showcase launched last week.

"We are trying to turn San Francisco's government into an organizing platform for civic engagement by giving our residents the tools to build the kind of government that works for them."

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, a San Francisco resident, and The Center for Investigative Reporting's California Watch are among those teaming with the city for the DataSF App contest.

The day-long app-building contest is open to "developers, journalists, community organizers, policy wonks, students and others interested in building a better San Francisco" from datasets available on DataSF.org.

Judges will pick a top app at the end of the day and award a cash prize or Apple gift certificate to the winning team.

"We're thrilled that the City of is defying convention by preemptively releasing data about its operations," said Shaw Allen of Stamen Design, the company behind the Crimespotting application.

"Open data empowers people like us to create pictures of the city that better allow its citizens to understand how and why it works."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Beyond GoPro: Skiers and snowboarders can measure everything with apps, hardware

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple’s App Store Downloads Top 1.5 Billion in First Year

Jul 14, 2009

Apple today announced that customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications in just one year from its App Store, the largest applications store in the world. The App Store is also growing at an incredible pace ...

Palm seeking applications for Pre smartphone

Apr 02, 2009

Palm is inviting outside developers to tailor applications for eagerly-awaited Pre smartphones that will be taking on heavyweights such as iPhone and BlackBerry.

Apple App Store downloads hit two billion mark

Sep 28, 2009

Apple announced Monday that more than two billion applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch have been downloaded from its App Store, just five months after hitting the one-billion download mark.

Purchase Carbon Offsets at the Airport

Sep 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the activities that puts a great deal of carbon dioxide into the environment is air travel. Air travel is one of the ways that individuals contribute to an increase in pollution and ...

A musical hit for the iPhone

Mar 26, 2009

The iPhone is many things - business device, gaming console, instant-messenger buddy. Ge Wang turned it into a flute.

Recommended for you

Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

6 hours ago

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings ...

Team infuses science into 'Minecraft' modification

Oct 24, 2014

The 3-D world of the popular "Minecraft" video game just became more entertaining, perilous and educational, thanks to a comprehensive code modification kit, "Polycraft World," created by University of Texas at Dallas professors, ...

Microsoft's Garage becomes an incubator of consumer apps

Oct 24, 2014

For five years now, The Garage has served as Microsoft's incubator for employees' passion projects, an internal community of engineers, designers, hardware tinkerers and others from all different parts of the company who ...

Students win challenge for real-time traffic app

Oct 24, 2014

Three University of Texas at Arlington Computer Science and Engineering students have won a $10,000 prize in the NTx Apps Challenge for a smart traffic light network that adjusts traffic light schedules to ...

User comments : 0