B.C. government plans Apps for Climate Action contest for developers

The B.C. government plans to hold an Apps for Climate Action contest for Web and mobile developers.

The province expects to kick off the contest at the GLOBE 2010 conference, which will take place from March 24 to 26, 2010, in Vancouver. It will run for four months.

Today (December 11), the government posted a call for interest on the B.C. Bid Web site, seeking sponsors for the competition.

The call for interest states:

The Province, as represented by the Ministry of Environment’s Climate Action Secretariat (CAS), is interested in exploring the potential for negotiating sponsorship opportunities to support the “Apps for Climate Action” contest (the “Contest”). Interested sponsors are requested to submit their names and ideas related to this potential sponsorship opportunity.

The sponsorship opportunities notice attached to the call has more details:

The Apps for Climate Action Contest is intended to inspire youth and the public in British Columbia to take action on climate change. The Province is developing a Contest for computer programmers to create dynamic internet and mobile applications using government and publicly available climate change and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions data. The Contest is expected to award cash prizes based on the creativity, interactivity and effectiveness of the applications as outreach tools.

The notice continues:

To support the Contest, the Province has created a Climate Change Open Data Catalogue for programmers to use in their applications. Examples of this data include publicly available greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts data. The open data catalogue will continue to provide accessible information on climate change after the contest close.

This contest could result in some pretty informative and useful Web and iPhone apps.

But it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of sponsors step forward and how much influence they have on the competition, not to mention the entry guidelines the government sets out for it.

According to the sponsorship opportunities notice, “adjudication” is one of the services “likely” to be provided by sponsors, which should have a “combined technology orientation and strong sustainability platforms”.

In any case, after the climate-data catalogue debuts on the Web, developers and researchers will almost certainly find good use for it—whether within the contest proper or not.

The City of Vancouver’s open-data catalogue, launched on September 15, has led to VanTrash and other mash-ups. And no doubt there’s more to come.

Prospective sponsors have until January 7, 2010, to send in their submissions.

You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.