'Apps for Metro Chicago' contest continues with Community focused round; public voting open

'Apps for Metro Chicago' contest continues with Community focused round; public voting open

Apps for Metro Chicago, a citywide app competition started by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, continues this week in the "community" round of apps.

The competition, which began in June, uses "data from multiple governments to make applications that improve lives of millions of residents," as explained in the city's official press release. The competition uses state and Chicago city data given freely to people to create apps. The aim of the apps is for the city government to operate more transparently, efficiently and make communities better.

Kathryn Auerbach, the Apps for Metro Chicago Illinois Project Manager and Director of Development, said there were around a total of 35 submissions of apps made using the open data with a focus on community.

This past October 7th, the panel of pre-selected core judges decided ten finalists that advance to a public voting round which will determine who receive prizes. The judging criteria were based on functionality, creativity, longevity and usefulness.

The public voting period from October 7th through 14th at 4:00 a.m. on AppsForMetroChicago.com, and the ten app finalists receive prize amounts with the first place winner taking home the biggest prize of $5000 dollars. To vote for your favorite, visit the community apps finalists voting page. Or if you haven't already signed up with the Website, register here first.

The ten Chicago app finalists up for running, in no particular order, are:

  • Chicago Local Guide - A mobile app, and calendar of Chicago events that includes information and locations of food trucks, art galleries, culture, points of interest, sports, and more.
  • OkCoPay - A comparison search engine for medical care that allows users to search for the procedure they need, compare local providers, and view their actual prices.
  • Vacant and Abandoned Building Finder - A tool for helping people and organizations find buildings in Chicago that are not in use and are potentially hazardous to the neighborhood.
  • Mi Parque - A place making app that helps residents of the community contribute and share their vision of Little Village's new park.
  • IFindIt Chicago - An Android app that connects users to vital food, medical, and shelter resources faster.
  • Got Game? (Web app, should be loaded in mobile browser to function correctly) - A new tool for residents to use the parks near them to join each other in the activities of their choice.
  • Techno Finder - An app that helps you find public WiFi near you using a cell phone or home phone, the web, or smart phone.
  • Chicago Service Request (Web app, should be loaded in mobile browser to function correctly) - An online Website that allows you to store additional information about a service request such as a picture, mapped location, and note.
  • allSchedules - An app that helps you check and track all bus schedules in your area.
  • FixIt! - A mobile app that allows Chicagoans to report issues, like public property damages, that require city attention.

With the Community round now underway, the public voting will decide the place of the winners are the prize amounts each will receive, with the last four receiving $300 and the first place app getting $5000.

These community round winners will be announced in an awards ceremony  (click link for official details) at the IBM Crime Data Hack Salon, at the end of the event at 4 p.m. on October 17th. The location is at IBM, Hyatt Center Innovation Center, 6th Floor, 71 S. Wacker for those wanting to attend and see the finalist winners in person.

The third, and final round, will be the "Grand Challenge". Those interested in learning more about Apps For Metro Chicago can take a look at AppsForMetroChicago.com for more details and get updates on the competition, the outcome of the winning community apps, and as the competition continues in the final round.


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