An App Contest For San Francisco

This guest post was written by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was elected to the position in 2003 and reelected in 2007. Newsom is also running for governor of California in the upcoming 2010 election. In this guest post, Mayor Newsom announces a contest to create apps using city data from,.

Last week, we announced a City App Store to highlight and centralize software applications developed from government data available on The response from the community has been overwhelming.

We have received a number of new civic apps that are now featured in the DataSF App Showcase. We’ve added Mom Maps, a new iPhone app that helps you find kid friendly locations in San Francisco, Dadnab a text messaging service that gives you transit directions, and then there’s EveryBlock, which has just added a new feature. The site breaks down what types of services people are requesting from the city by neighborhood, zip code and day.

This type of innovation is exactly what we were hoping for when we launched less than six weeks ago.

We were not sure what people would create with the data, but we knew that many of our talented developers wanted to help improve San Francisco. Now, our community is coming together to help fill our app store with even more civic apps.

The Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch reporting team, Spot.Us, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark,, the Gov 2.0 Summit, Sun Light Foundation and others are announcing today that they are joining forces to sponsor the first DataSF App Contest on Nov. 7.

The day-long app-building contest is open to developers, journalists, community organizers, policy wonks, students and others interested in building a better San Francisco from more than 100 datasets available on

Register here for the DataSF App Contest. If you are interesting in sponsoring the App Contest, visit the Spot.Us page

A team of judges will pick the winning app at the end of the day and award a cash prize or Apple gift certificate to the winning team. More than $1600 has already been raised from community sponsors. If you would like to donate to the contest please click here.

We are excited to see what apps will be created from this contest. The only limit is participants’ imagination and the amount of data we are able to make available by Nov. 7. In San Francisco we are moving away from a one size fits all government to making government a platform for innovation.

If you are using or have created an application based on City data that is not in our DataSF App Showcase, we would like to hear from you.

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