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Announcing Apps for America

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Sunlight Labs is pleased to announce our new mashup contest for 2009: Apps for America. Inspired by our own mashup contest in 2007, along with the DC Office of the CTO’s Apps for Democracy contest. We’re doing things a bit differently than our first contest in that we’ve broadened the number of APIs that make your app eligible, we’ve increased the prize money, and we’re requiring that all the applications submitted be released under an open source license.

The contest details are here

Basically, you need to use one of the APIs or data dumps listed on this page to make a compelling application. You can develop on any platform you want as long as the judges can judge it. For instance— we wouldn’t recommend making an TI-85 application because none of our judges saved their calculators from high school, but we would recommend web applications, client applications, Adobe AIR applications and the like. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out our Project Ideas page for some inspiration.

Our judges are pretty awesome: Adrian Holovaty from the Django Project. Aaron Swartz, Founder of Reddit.com. Xeni Jardin from BoingBoing.net. Peter Corbett, one of the inventors of Apps for Democracy and founder of iStrategy Labs. We're keeping one slot open for one other judge. I'll be a judge, too.

This marks a shift here in the Labs too, from being an experimentation laboratory to a full-scale open source development organization. After all, we can’t call on Government to be transparent if we’re not transparent ourselves.

So let the games begin! We’ll be blogging about the contest as it goes on through March over on the Sunlight Labs Blog so make sure to stay tuned for updates!