It was the mobile-app version of the Oscars last night at City Hall, as the awards for the first-ever Evergreen Apps Challenge were handed out to local developers.
With Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Governor Chris Gregoire (via video) all on hand, more than $75,000 in prize money was split between the winners of this app development challenge, a collaboration between the state, King County, and the City of Seattle.
Announced in May, this contest encouraged geeks around Washington state to build apps that could benefit those living here by using government data from data.seattle.gov, data.wa.gov, and datakc.org.
Taking the first-place, $20,000 prize was Living Voters Guide, a non-partisan resource that fosters civil discussion and provides descriptions of current ballot measures from the Washington’s Secretary of State and county elections bureaus.
The contest, which was only open to those who live, work or study in the state, was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Washington State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce. The City of Seattle also contributed $20,000.
According to a FAQ on the Evergreen App Challenge Web site, teams retain the software code that they write. However, the government entities will be given a royalty-free perpetual and transferable license to post submissions on the Evergreen App Challenge Web site, and to utilize the apps for noncommercial purposes for a period of 12 months after the conclusion of the competition.
The seven judges included big names in the local tech scene, from former city CTO Bill Schrier to Technology Alliance executive director Susannah Malarkey. The event was emceed by GeekWire’s Rebecca Lovell.
Here are the rest of the winners:
First Place: Living Voters Guide ($20,000)
Living Voters Guide is a non-partisan resource that fosters civil discussion and nuanced deliberation and provides titles and descriptions of current ballot measures from the Washington’s Secretary of State and county elections bureaus. LVG 2012 launched on September 24, adding a new fact-checking feature developed in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library.
Second Place: Which Bus ($15,000)
WhichBus combines both trip planning and real-time bus information in just a few easy steps, all within one app. Now it’s easy for King County transit riders to figure out how to get where they are going and when they will get there.
Best Multi-jurisdictional prize: Which Bus ($10,000)
Honorable Mention: Trash Backwards ($5000)
Trash Backwards is a mobile app encouraging reuse and upcycle solutions to combat the problem of excess stuff in our society. Users type in what you want to go away and discover a curated and crowdsourced list of alternatives that are better for both the planet and one’s pocketbook.
People’s Choice Award: Which Bus, Alike ($5000 each)
Using Alike, anyone can simply enter the name of a place they enjoy, alike will provide the user with similar places that they will love. The Alike search engine has developed a semantic understanding of 19 million places and their attributes (locations, cost, reviews, preferences). If a user suggests that he or she likes Dimitrious Jazz Alley in Seattle while looking for a new place to go, Alike will generate results such as The Triple Door and Tulas. These search results appear complete with reviews, pictures, and location information.
Best County App: Food Inspector ($5000)
FoodInspector displays the King County food inspection results in an easy-to-understand manner with a goal of improving the visibility of the food inspection results.
Best City App prize: Trash Backwards ($5000)
Best State App: Living Voters Guide ($5000)
The Good Government App: RainWatch (no money, just bragging rights)
Seattle RainWatch is a real-time web-based weather system that provides short-term forecasts, or nowcasts and rain accumulation totals in Seattle. The essence of RainWatch is the 1-hour precipitation forecast.