D.C. announces Apps for Democracy winner

Facebook and iPhone app allows uses to submit 311 requests

The District of Columbia has announced the winner of its latest contest for user-built applications using Washington, D.C.'s data and services, a contest named Apps for America Community Edition.

Developers Victor Shilo, Roman Zolin and Andrey Andreev created the winning application, named DC311. This app allows users to submit and view service requests to the city via its 311 service. They will be awarded $10,000.

The developers created two versions of the application, one that can be run on iPhone and a version that can be accessed through Facebook.

With the iPhone version, users can take and submit pictures of the issues in question, such as potholes and broken parking meters, as well as use the built in Global Positioning Satellite to notate the exact location. Requests can be submitted in different categories such as cleaning, repairs, trash and tree services.

Launched in May, the contest challenged third-party developers to write applications that reuse D.C. information. The applications could use the city's Data Catalog, its recently-introduced 311 application program interface. The contest was based off an 2008 iteration of Apps for Democracy, which was overseen by then-D.C. chief technology officer, and current federal chief technology officer, Vivek Kundra.

This contest involved a number of different steps. After the original batch of submissions was received, a meeting took place in which demonstration versions of the applications were reviewed. Developers then had two weeks to revise their applications based on the feedback before winners of the second phase are announced. The contest also asked D.C. residents to suggest ideas for how technology could improve the quality of life in the city. The judges will use those ideas as the basis for judging the submissions.

Judges for the contest included Chris Willey, Washington's interim chief technology officer, Kevin Donahue, director of Washington's CapStat program; Janice Quintana, director of Washington's Office of Unified Communications, and Peter Corbett, chief executive officer of iStrategyLabs, which oversaw the contest for Washington.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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