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County announces data sharing initiative and Apps Challenge 2012

By Tim Dupuis

New open data portal provides residents with a wealth of information, encourages the public to build apps to address community needs

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. -- Alameda County has launched the new Alameda County Data Sharing Initiative which gives the public easy online access to records and information about County business and operations. The Initiative enhances the County’s commitment to transparent government and to encourage civic engagement.

The County will host the Alameda County Apps Challenge 2012 on Saturday December 8, 2012, at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley to encourage residents to harness the power of technology and open government to create web and mobile applications that benefit the community.

The possibilities are vast and depend mostly on the creative thinking of participants but possible objectives of an Apps Challenge entry could be to improve civic engagement, and promote digital education and literacy. A Grand Prize of $3,000 will be awarded for the most creative and practical application created at the event.

A 2nd Place Prize of $1,500 and a 3rd Place Prize of $500 will be offered, too.

The centerpiece of the Data Sharing Initiative is a newly created Alameda County online data portal at http://data.acgov.org which offers easy-to-access links to public information about County operations.

Available information includes complete records of 2012 crime reports taken by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, data about restaurant inspections and information about local parks and transit districts.

County leaders say the information available within the online data portal will increase and evolve as Alameda County responds to public requests for specific data sets to meet specific needs. The project encourages public participation by asking community members to use the data sets to create innovative web and mobile applications that address community needs and enhance services and quality of life in Alameda County.

“Our hope is that the Data Sharing Initiative will help expand the public’s understanding of local government and make County data more accessible to the community,” said Susan S. Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator.

It also creates exciting new opportunities for Alameda County government to team with residents.

“By tapping the creativity, knowledge and expertise within our community, we believe this project has great potential to help people get the information they want and to better understand the community in which they live,” said Nate Miley, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

For more about the Alameda County Apps Challenge 2012 and to register, visit http://code.acgov.org. For information about the Alameda County Data Sharing Initiative, visit http://data.acgov.org.

Alameda County Apps Challenge 2012
Saturday, December 8
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley
http://code.acgov.org


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