So, in fact it's even more fun and groovy than simply one new mobile app to download, because what B.C. is doing is launching a contest for developers to come up with the best mobile app - AND they've got $40,000 CDN in cash and prizes to give away to the ones who do it well.
"This will appeal to a lot of people, especially the young and the creative," commented Minister Yap at the morning's press conference. "The contest allows for software developers to access government data sets to develop mobile apps that can then be downloaded for use on iPhones, Blackberries, and other mobile devices. We expect to see developers come up with a range of apps from games to measuring tools. They are limited only by their creativity. There are 500 data sets that have been made available to developers. It's a way for us to get the message out that all of us as individuals can take ownership of Climate Action."
The contest's $40,000 in cash and prizes are spread across five categories: best mobile app, best web app, people's choice, best of B.C. and overall best app.
It's sort of like British Columbia's version of the X Prize for Climate Action Apps.
James Mack, B.C.'s Climate Action Secretariat explained that the 500 Data Sets that have been made available for designers are all in readable code and are app-design friendly. They are also Open Source Code friendly. "We've outlined some broad themes that the design community can use as guidelines but mostly it's up to the community to show innovation and elicit public engagement," he said at the Vancouver Convention Center this morning.
Partners who have helped provide the cash prizes and funding are: SAP Canada Inc., who is the gold sponsor of the contest. "We believe we have a dual role with sustainability, as exemplar and as enabler," said Kirsten Sutton, managing director SAP Labs Vancouver.
Submission deadline for Apps4ClimateAction contest is July 25, 2010. Be sure to register to vote for the People's Choice Award for favorite App by August 20, 2010. Winners announced September 2010.
For deets on contest rules and prizes: www.Apps4ClimateAction.gov.bc.ca.
"Bringing together British Columbia's data resources and the creativity of the software community opens up the potential for people to see climate change in entirely new ways," said Yap. "The great prizes and support of our sponsors will give us web and mobile apps that educate people about climate change and help motivate them to reduce their own carbon footprint."