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#25 Google Places API Contest

The City of Chicago and Google met with Chicago’s civic hacking community to talk about the Google Places API Challenge, a new civic apps competition.

Here are some of the ideas that were proposed (thanks to Christopher Whitaker for taking notes!). Google Doc here

Jay Miller with the Chicago Health Department spoke about some of the data the city health department has. The city has set up several places where people can get free condoms ( and HIV tests, but no easy way for people to find that info. The health department also publishes data on where you can get free flu shots. ( The city starts their annual program September 15th and will distribute flu shots every few days after that.

Tom Kompare (@tomkompare) is working on these maps: Get in touch if you want to help out.

Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein wants to see the city’s data used in a more participatory way. When Klein was transportation commissioner in D.C., the department had to take care of trees as well as roads. Part of the problem they faced was that they’d plant trees, but they would die by the end of the season. Instead of getting expensive sensors, they started an “Adopt-a-tree” program that let neighbors help take care of the trees.

Transit blogger Steve Vance (@stevevance) has an idea to use the Shareabouts app to crowdsource problems with Chicago’s bike and ped infrastructure.

The Chicago Park District has data on its 583 parks and 24 beaches. They get calls not about where the parks are, but what’s in them. Is there art here? Bathrooms? Water Fountains? They’re interested in an app that answers that question.

Project Exploration is a non-profit organization that works to expand access to science to girls and minority youth. They’re currently working on a site that helps parents find math and science programs in their areas.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (@chicagoarchitecture) has built a 3D model of Chicago. They’re planning an exhibition that combines their physical 3D model with the big data that the city produces on a daily basis.

Steve Vance wants to connect park district data with restaurant data. This way, when you’re picking up food from your favorite lunch place – you can find a nearby park to chow down at. Or if you’re at a park and get hungry, where can you get a bite to eat?

Derek Eder with Open City would like to create a site that shows the ecology of business in a particular area. (Coffee shops and bookstores VS liquor stores and strip clubs, for example.)

Tom Kompare is working on – an app that’s bike map that combines data on bike routes as well as bike racks. While the city publishes data on city bike racks, there currently isn’t a data set that has all of the privately owned bike racks. (Such as the ones that you would see in front of your local grocery store.)

Kirk Lashley wants to create a community-policing app.

Claire Tramm proposed an app that (among other things) alerts car owners when their car has been towed, and warns them about street closures due to street sweeping, snow plows, film shoots, and the like.

Sponsor Smart Chicago Collaborative

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