Photos and team details from Day 2 of the inaugural OpenIowa
Rob Jensen (from left) Chad Brewbaker, Micah Honeycutt and Andrew Kirpalani work on their project, WooVotes on Saturday at OpenIowa.
The inaugural OpenIowa is in its homestretch at Startup City Des Moines. The three-day event, sponsored by StartupIowa, is empowering entrepreneurs, developers and designers to utilize a continually-growing set of government databases to create new ways for citizens to access that information.
Close to 30 participants signed up for the event, which began on Friday evening and concludes this evening. Participants were tasked with creating the best web or mobile application as decided by a panel of judges tonight.
Data sources for the teams include Data.gov, a federal open-data initiative begun in 2009, and more than 52 state, county and city data sets made available through OpenIowa.socrata.com. According to Startup City's Tej Dhawan, several of the groups have included outside data sets to accomplish their goals, which is a positive sign.
"Governor Brandstad (and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds)'s administration has had a pretty good focus on transparency ... it's encouraging," Dhawan said of the state's efforts to encourage more development of open data sets like this weekend's.
The competition features four full-fledged teams and a pair of single-person projects. Check below for a description of those teams and a sampling of photos from Saturday's action:
Enter any address in the state of Iowa, and you'll get the closest 20 voters by location and a score related to their voter participation for the last four election cycles. The application is meant to engender a sense of voter responsibility, sort of a "Klout score social feedback" for civic duty. Users will be able to see how they measure against their social graph and identify those compatriots who may not be as involved as they are.
Homeless Help Desk
Their mobile app is designed to be used by case workers at homeless shelters. It uses data from various government entities, including Veteran Affairs, to best alert case workers to what are the various options available to the homeless they serve. The service should be of particular use for veterans as there are additional programs that serve that population.
They're designing a site to display the different contributors to federal election candidates by their state of origin, defining how much money each senator or representative received from out-of-state contributors. The data will be displayed in a heat- or spider-map so that constituents can visualize where their state caucus's influence comes from.
This group's mobile app hopes to alert women (or anyone who cares) which public parks and recreation areas are considered unsafe or "scary" by other app users. The interface will have two modes: a comfort indicator for the current location and an overlay of more intricate data and statistics of crime, sex offenders, etc., from that area.
StartupCity Des Moines opened its doors to the inaugural OpenIowa.
Sud Ramasamy, Rebecca VanDeCasteele, Drew Maifeld and Mike Naughton pause from their work on Saturday for a yoga break.
Moneytrail's Paul Ludington goes from whiteboard to design on his team's app.
The Super Ranger team breaks its tasks down by color-coded notes.
Drew Maifeld demos some video his Super Ranger team shot for Sunday's presentation.
Credits: Photos by Christopher New.