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Alberta students make good showing in Apps contest

Two of four awards in the Apps for Alberta contest were won by Alberta students and all of the awards were taken home by Albertans.

The Apps for Alberta contest enticed 29 qualified entrants from Canada and the United States to find creative ways to transform Alberta’s open data into applications that provide social and economic benefit for Albertans.

The winners are:

  • Best Overall App: “Make the Grade,” designed by Devon Sigurdson from Darkhorse Analytics of Edmonton, allows Albertans to visually explore, filter and compare diploma exam results across the province.
  • People’s Choice Award: “Risco,” designed by University of Calgary students (Team R-Squared: Gabriela Jurca, Megha Chopra, Govind Parmar, Omar Addam), helps outdoor enthusiasts access maps and information on outdoor hazards such as known grizzly bear zones, snake zones and active wildfires.
  • Best Made in Alberta App Award: “Make the Grade” won in this category as well.
  • Best Student App Award: “Live Alberta” designed by MacEwan University student Karo Castro-Wunsch, combines text and visuals to convey a wealth of easy-to-arrange information on cities across Alberta.

“I congratulate the winners and all entrants for using their skills and creativity to put government data in the hands of Albertans. This information belongs to Albertans and I invite everyone to access the wide range of data we now have available on our new open government portal. By launching this portal we’re demonstrating our commitment to open, effective and accountable government.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Service Alberta

The Apps have now been released on the newly expanded portal, which is designed to provide a convenient and comprehensive location for accessing government data and information. For the first time, computer applications are featured on the portal, including all the Apps for Alberta entrants as well as Government of Alberta Apps designed to make life easier for Albertans.

Other enhanced features include a new compilation of almost 1,400 government publications as well as a series of easy-to-read graphs, charts and diagrams. Since the open data portal launched in May 2013 with 280 data sets, it has expanded to almost 1,960 data sets – which represents a seven-fold increase.

Service Alberta, in partnership with Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures, launched the online app competition in the spring of 2015. Technology Futures provided $70,000 in prize money across the four categories to encourage entrepreneurism and technological innovation.

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