Apps4Ottawa goes national

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City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa today announced it will be holding a second Apps4Ottawa contest. The new contest will feature a similar prize structure as the first contest but will be opened up to all Canadians for entry. Microsoft Canada is the contest's title sponsor while other technology companies have agreed to be category sponsors.

"By making this a Canada-wide competition, we are encouraging developers from across the country to create apps that are unique, helpful and fun to use for residents and visitors to the nation's capital," said Mayor Jim Watson. "The City is also pleased to have the strong support of the local and national technology sector in bringing this program to the public."

Until March 10, residents are asked to submit their ideas and comment on others at ottawa.ca. These ideas and suggestions will help developers decide which apps to build, based on which ideas seem most popular and useful. Starting March 11, 2013, developers can start submitting their apps. The deadline for apps submission is May 12, 2013.

"Basically, we're crowdsourcing," said Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair of the IT Sub-Committee. "We're encouraging residents to visit ottawa.ca to help guide the process for developers by submitting ideas for the types of apps that they might want and to comment or build on other ideas. We have been asking staff for their ideas over the last two weeks, and by adding this dialogue with residents, we feel it will help developers decide which apps are most needed and preferred by residents and the City."

Entries will be judged on usefulness, inventiveness, originality and ease of access and use. Apps can be designed for mobile phones, desktop computers or websites. Prizes will be awarded in four theme categories: On the Move, Having Fun, Your City and a brand new category for Data Analysis and Visualizations.

Cash prizes will total $38,000 with the top prize in each category set at $3,000. There will also be prizes for Silver and Bronze in each category, plus one prize each for the best student app and the people's choice app, along with prizes for the top Microsoft 8 apps. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in June.

Category and in-kind sponsors include Nova Networks, Oracle, TELUS, CGI, Smart Cell, Ideavibes, Decisive Technologies and Cisco.

Ottawa is one of the leaders in the open data movement in Canada. Currently, there are 63 data sets and 121 data files available to on ottawa.ca.

For more information, including contest rules visit ottawa.ca.