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California Announces Contest to Promote Collaboration and Enhance Government Transparency and Services

(June 02, 2010)

SACRAMENTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/02/10 -- Today, the Center for Digital Government, in collaboration with the State of California, City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, the City and County of San Francisco, Google, Microsoft and, announced the launch of Apps for Californians -- a web application development contest focused on enhancing government transparency and services. Through Apps for Californians, application developers will be able to leverage public data sets made available by the state and local governments within California to develop innovative applications, visualizations and mashups that empower residents and businesses with improved access to government information and services and promote collaboration between the state, local governments and non-governmental partners.

"The Center applauds California for the advancement of transparency and innovative citizen engagement. As the home of Silicon Valley and with a Governor who leads the world in government social media, it is the next logical step for the Golden State," states Cathilea Robinett, Center for Digital Government Executive Vice President.

The state has invited California cities and counties to participate by making their public data available for the competition.

"Governor Schwarzenegger has been a strong advocate of open government and increasing transparency by making government data and information available to the public. This contest links our mandate to enhance government transparency and government services with California's history of innovation," said Teri Takai, California's CIO. "Whether you are a state employee, a student or a seasoned programmer, I encourage all of those interested in making government better to participate in this contest."

Five winning applications will be selected from all entries. Each entry will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Providing value to California's residents and businesses;
  • Demonstrating Innovation;
  • Promoting Collaboration and Government Efficiency; and
  • Ensuring Accessibility and Usability.

The State of California has created several innovative web applications of its own, including:

* SchoolFinder - - Find and compare schools side-by-side with the latest school ranking, course offering, and other information.

* Service Locator - available on iTunes - Find the nearest state government office, park, or library using your iPhone.

* MyHazards - - Find and learn about natural hazards in your neighborhood.

With more than 400 data sources and 100 million records currently online, the State of California has made vast amounts of public data relating to all facets of state government including: budget, finance, income, land use, highway traffic, health statistics, education, labor and more. A comprehensive list of data sources can be found at

All winners will be invited to an awards gala hosted by the Center for Digital Government in Hollywood on September 17, 2010. The State's web portal,, will feature applications created for CalApps., the online resource and community for open APIs and mashups, is facilitating the contest (all entries must be submitted through their website, see contest site for more information). The contest deadline is August 27, 2010. will be handling all contest entries and posting applications as they are submitted.

The Center for Digital Government will lead the judging of the event and prizes will be awarded.

The Center for Digital Government ( is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a division of e.Republic (, the nation's leading publishing, research, event, and new media company focused on the state and local government and education markets.

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