The city of of Madison launched it’s open data portal this week, and boy are we ever excited here at Hardin Design and Development! Madison, if you can believe, is only the second city in the country to pass an open data ordinance.
You might be wondering what the buzz is all about concerning open data and the Wisconsin State Journal has a great in-depth article explaining the concept, but basically it means the public will now be able to use data collected by the city to develop an app of their own design – for free.
With the copious amount of city-data now posted online developers will have plenty of information to dig and sort through to create an app, but where to start? To help fuel the creative juices we found five great apps created from open data portals from cities around the country to inspire the Madison area developers.
1. BusRadar (http://busradarapp.com/) Madison
A locally produced app that simplifies your bus experience. Allows users to see what buses will be arriving at any stop in the Madison Metro system. Tremendously useful to any seasoned or first-time bus rider.
2. Don’t Eat At_____ (http://donteat.at/) New York City
An app used on foursquare that allows users to receive an alerts when they check into any NYC restaurant that is at risk of being closed for health code violations.
3. Chicago Works (http://www.2pensmedia.com/) Chicago
Graffiti on your store sign? Abandoned car outside your apt? This iphone app that allows Windy City residents to submit and track reports to the 311 Chicago city services department.
4. MomMaps (http://mommaps.com/) (Originality San Fransisco, now over 30 cities)
Helps parents find kid-friendly locations (children’s museums, indoor play areas, kid-friendly restaurants etc.) while on the go.
5. Ottawa Biking Problems (http://ottawabikingproblems.ca/) Ottawa
A mapping website that allows cyclists to share information with the entire cycling community. Users provide data on specific locations in the city such as road work, busy intersections, poor bike lanes and more.
To get started on your exciting pathway to open data app development click the link to the official City of Madison Data Portal featuring all of the current datasets available to the public. We can’t wait to see what our fellow Madisonians are going to develop using our great new resource – we do know that will be great!