History and Mission of A4MC
The Apps for Metro Chicago Illinois competition launched June 24, 2011. In this era of open data, MCIC President Virginia Carlson recognized the need to guide and facilitate public access to local government data through vehicles like this app contest. The competition’s mission is to inspire the development of applications which improve the lives of Metro Chicagoans. Over 250 data sets have been provided by the City of Chicago, Cook County, State of Illinois, and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and over $50,000 in prizes will be awarded over the course of the competition.
Unlike previous civic apps competitions, the A4MC Competition is facilitated by the Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC), an information intermediary. In this competition, MCIC’s role is to foster relationships between civic organizations, Chicago residents and apps developers resulting in apps that have immediate and long-term relevancy and truly reflect the varied needs of Metro Chicago. MCIC’s recent successes have focused on collaborative efforts to drive the open data movement even further, helping citizens have the tools, access and resources necessary to gather the information they truly need. MCIC in its role as facilitator of the Apps 4 Metro Chicago IL Competition has been a vital intermediary between the community organizations, developers, businesses and the government resulting in timely unprecedented releases of critical data sets, the creation of applications that truly reflect the diverse needs of Metro Chicagoans, and building a strong network united around their commitment to building sustainable technology maximizing the utility of open data.
A4MC Round 1 lasted from June 15th to August 24th and focused on transportation. It generated 12 winning apps tackling a wide variety of Chicago transportation topics from parking to potholes to bike paths. Round 2 focused on community and lasted from August 28 to September 30. The Community Round produced a diverse and high quality group of apps that will be incredibly helpful to all Metro Chicago Residents. The Community Round also produced the type of amazing collaborative stories that are one of the goals of the Competition.
The Grand Challenge Round, the last phase of A4MC, is currently ongoing. Entries are due December 2nd.