Ideas and connections

Developers know data and code. Local organizations know problems that data and code can solve. We're inviting local organizations to share their ideas for useful apps on this page by mailing them to [email protected] and joining the Google Group on the bottom right hand of this page. Developers, if anything catches your eye sign in to the Google Group to to start a conversation about teaming up!

On this page are now both the most popular ideas from the first months of the contest and the hot new ideas of the week.  They'll be changed frequently, so check back often!

Community Design App

What's possible in Chicago?  Let the people decide/design.  When users of this app see either a problem or a solution in the city (a parking spot, a park bench), they could snap a picture of it and type 140 characters or so about why they sent it in.  This app is effortless to use, and designers can harvest these ideas to build innovative solutions to the city's problems. Built into the app will be a glimpse into the infrastructure of the city, through 311 and city service datasets.

No votes yet

Energy Use Game

Using CPS and Climate Cycle data on school energy use, create an interactive data visualization game that would allow students (elementary and up) to create data flows and represent them with images that they collect.  Piles of school lunch trays being carried away by trucks to represent waste?  An apple rolling off barrels of oil to show the energy consumption of our food system?  Green the school, using real data.

No votes yet

A Web App for Chicago - Chicago Budget 2012


Government must join the .com age! Build a webapp that incorporates all 311 functions, the Mayor's office, all of the Socrata data sets, etc.

Eventually, get ComEd, CPS, City Colleges, etc. on board.

Make it a launch pad for anyone with a question, comment, inquiry, or payment.

No votes yet

Hunger Heat Map

We need a heat map of hunger over time.  This app, based on data from 2006-present phone calls to the IL Hunger Coalition's Hunger Hotline, would show the geographic movement and changes in intensity of hunger over the past five years, and would continue to be kept up to date with continued data from the hotline. A link built into the app for donations to the hotline would be helpful.

No votes yet

311 requests v. completion by zip code

Another app that could be great would be one that checks 311 requests vs completion by zip code, ward, or neighborhood.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Chicago 311 app - easier than dialing

Instead of just a "crowd-sourced road repair app", how about a full Chicago 311 app, with the ability to note on a map the location of any maintenance issues (pavement, lighting, flooding), report any other city issues, as well as being able to access tons of basic city information, which Chicago is already trying to make available via a texting service. This would make it easier/cheaper for the City to offer this service, and easier for the customer to interact with than trying to text or speak with a 311 representative.


No votes yet

Crowdsourced Road Repair app

Please develop an app that will allow cyclists and other transport to easily "drop pins" on map points throughout Chicago to note where potholes, missing lane markers, difficult train/bridge crossings occur (could provide different color pin categories for each type).  The more pins dropped on a map point will indicate both a highly trafficked area, and an area that needs faster attention.  This will help CDOT better prioritize repair needs, and keep an eye on the changing usage of Chicago's streets.


No votes yet

What's my ward?

Someone please build an app that helps people figure out what ward they are in. Bonus points if you explain what kinds of things people should go to their Aldermen about.

No votes yet

Share your ideas!

Are you a community organization or business looking for a developer? Or a developer looking for a community partner?  Or do you just need a place to share and develop ideas for app submissions?

We've created a Google Group that you can join to connect with potential collaborators and share ideas.