Over the past few months I’ve been working with the BC Government around the idea of an “Apps for Climate Change.” The idea, initiated by the province, is to hold a development competition akin to the “Apps for Democracy” competition hosted by Washington DC but focused around climate change.
I talked a little bit about the upcoming competition during my O’Reilly Gov 2.0 International Online talk and referenced an article by Stephen Hui in the Georgia Straight which outlines some of the competitions details. (some people have been asking for that link).
In short, the province is assembling a fairly large data catalog focused around climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, along with a number of other data sets. I expect the contest to be announced at GLOBE 2010 (Mar 24-26) with a side announcement at OpenGovWest and hope to share more information soon. There will be prize money involved – but more importantly, an opportunity to create something that could get serious profile.
In addition to interested independent developers, one hope I have is that non-profits like Greenpeace, the David Suzuki foundation and others will reach out to developers in their volunteer/activist community and encourage them to use these data sets in ways that might help the public. I’m also hoping that some private sector actors may see ways to use this data to better serve their clients or save them, or their customers, money.
Either way, I hope the competition sparks the interest of Canadians across the country and generates some interesting applications that can help citizens act on the issue of climate change.