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Singapore Government Open Data Enable App Development
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2013/apr/04/singapore-government-data-enables-app-development/
Source Date: Friday, April 05, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Singapore
Created: Apr 04, 2013

Six teams of developers won awards for innovative apps that use open government data yesterday, at the inaugural PlugFest International Programming Competition (IPC).

The IPC was organised by the Google Developer Group Singapore and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society Singapore, and supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Institute for Infocomm Research.

The competition was open to tertiary students and individuals, who had to create web or mobile applications that use publicly available datasets from the government’s open data portal.

An app called ‘The Great Singapore Rat Race’ won the Most Innovative Award as well as the first prize in the individual category. The web and mobile app, created by developer Seah Ru Hong, provides a visualisation of labour and income data from Singapore, using datasets released by the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Education, and the Department of Statistics.

The app shows users trends in average household income and income by industry and education, as well as starting salaries and employment rates of fresh graduates.

Seah said that the app will help students make decisions regarding their course of study, and help workers chart their career path by analysing income trends. The app will also give researchers a macroeconomic overview of the country.

Another app called ‘Last Order’, which aims to reduce wastage of food in restaurants, was named the Most Socially Impactful App. Using location information from the Hotel Licensing Board, the app allows restaurants to send notifications on promotions and discounts to customers in the vicinity just before closing time.

“The concept is based on proximity and real time”, explained Javier Tamashiro, one of the creators of the app. Users can set a maximum distance that the restaurant must be within to receive notifications. Promotions will be sent in real-time to avoid food spoilage. The app can be expanded to include promotions from events such as concerts, or even supermarkets.

Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance and Transport, attended the awards ceremony, and spoke about the use of government data by private developers.

“To improve the way we deliver public services, we hope to harness the power of our people by facilitating co-creation”, she stated. “The release of datasets for mash-ups or data analytics is a good example of how co-creation can give us insights into consumer behaviour or create new services to improve the lives of citizens”.

The minister also announced the launch of Apps4SG, the government’s own app development competition using open data.
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