On May 15th, the City of Philadelphia announced the Philly311 Widget Contest—calling for civic coders and community activists to submit ideas for a new widget on the Philly311 Mobile App. After three weeks of questions, hackathons, collaborations and, BigideasPHL (the City of Philadelphia’s small contracts site where the contest was officially posted) received 5 submissions for potential widgets. Here’s a look at what these submissions included:
- A widget to find your trash and recycling day. (This works by either typing an address in a search bar or clicking a spot on a map to find specific collection days)
- A widget to browse after school community programs.
- A “Lost Pet/ Pet Adoption” widget, allowing users to report lost pets, report found pets, browse found pets and find links for animal shelters in Philadelphia.
- A widget to browse data from Philadelphia schools
- A widget to browse Police District and City Council news.
(The comments section of the BigIdeasPHL posting contains links and more detailed descriptions of the widgets)
With these 5 submissions, judges from Philly311, the Office of Innovation and Technology and Public Stuff will choose a winner(s) based on the app’s quality, utility and the following criteria:
- How the widget connects to Philly311
- How the widget relates to suggested topics (The contest strongly encouraged widgets that addressed Community Improvement; Digital Access (lack of access to computers/internet); Traffic; Public Health; Education; or Environment)
- Feasibility of hosting and maintenance
- How close the app is to being finished by the submission deadline
As this was Philly311’s first widget contest, 5 submissions was an impressive number (this speaks both to Philadelphia’s thriving community of civic hackers as well as the potential for the Philly311 Mobile App) Stay tuned as the contest reaches its final stages.