Last Friday we closed the submissions phase for the Illinois Open Technology Challenge. We traveled 900 miles to conduct 8 meetups in 6 locations in 4 cities with 149 people. We worked with 12 government IT professionals to publish 138 new datasets (34 in Champaign15 in Rockford12 in Belleville, and 77 from the 42 municipalities South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association).

By the deadline Friday, we received 10 qualified entries for the $75,000 Challenge. We are excited about the quality of the submissions we received, and will announce the winners byFriday, April 19.

Here’s a list of the submissions received, and can be viewed in the Illinois Open Technology Challenge Submission Gallery.

For Belleville:
Belleville Code is an easy-to-navigate website for the Revised City Ordinances of Belleville, allowing the community an opportunity to learn and discuss the laws that govern their land, created by Greg Baugues
Safe Citizens, Safe Businesses is an interactive map of historical hazardous material spills reported by IEMA between 1987 and 2011 for Belleville, created by Max Burnette and Dan Hudson
For Champaign:
C-U There! is the perfect “tour guide” mobile companion featuring local news and event feeds, parking location information and directories of historic landmarks in Champaign-Urbana, created by Josh O’Neal and Stephanie Gould
Champaign-Urbana Restaurant Inspection Map is an interactive map of health inspections scores of local eateries in Champaign-Urbana, created by Brant Houston, Acton Gorton, Loretta Auvil and Pam Dempsey
ReRoute is a web and mobile application that provides safe alternative routes for pedestrians in Champaign, created by Eric Mills and Gang Chen
Social Community Television Channels for Health is a cloud-enabled destination for live broadcasts and on-demand video-based health content, created by Antonio Burketh, Bruce Montgomery and Maurice Byrd
South Suburbs Housing Investment Tool is an investment tool that geographically analyzes, scores, and ranks projects specific to South Suburban Managers and Mayors Association (SSMMA) area, created by Dominic Strezo, Ryan Eckdale-Dudley and Jason Cleaver
For State of Illinois:
Crash Browser is a tool that provides users with a map and data of the automobile-pedestrian and automobile-bicycle crashes for any point in the state, created by Steve Vance
iApplied is a web application that acts as a centralized repository of records of people applying for jobs, created by Tyron Foston, Nikitta Foston, and Chris Beavers
Waitbot is a responsive web application displaying wait times and sends text updates to patients with wait time changes of ER facilities in the State of Illinois, created by Rishi Khullar, Eugene Yakubovich and Dave Turner

We also received a submission from Fishin’ Buddies!, Inc.  They have a great idea, but it’s not quite done yet. Their submission was What’s Growing On IL, an idea for an application that will catalog all of the native and invasive plant and animal species found in the local Cook County Forest Preserve. 

There were no entries focused on Rockford. This was a surprise to us, given the great community we found there, the good size of the meetups, the media attention it the Challenge received, the awesome support from the mayor and IT leadership, and the rich data that was published in the context of the Challenge. We are working to decide how to spend the $15,000 apportioned to Rockford in the challenge. We promise that it will be put to work in the service of civic innovation.

Next steps are to judge the entries, award all of the money, and have a party in every community in the Challenge. No one has attempted this before— to execute a comprehensive, statewide open data campaign with public events, the direct involvement of local IT and political leadership, and include community members in trying to figure out how to use technology and data to solve common problems.

This is greenfields work. We’re just getting started.

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