Apps 4 Metro Chicago recently announced the winners of the community round entries. The challenge was to build an application for the citizens and visitors to the city of Chicago using the Chicago Open Data Portal. Techno Finder finished 8th place in public voting.
Techno Finder is an application for finding public technology locations in the city of Chicago. Techno Finder does so using the public technology resources dataset from the Chicago Data Portal. The City of Chicago has many technology resources that are free for the public to use, including computers with internet access, wifi access points, and computer training.
Currently, there are two ways to use Techno Finder. The first is by calling a Chicago based phone number and entering your five digit zip code. This will read off a list of technology resources in your area. Users can then opt to have a text message with that information sent to their mobile phone.
The second way to access Techno Finder is by browsing through your smart phone. Browsing through a smart phone will show public wi-fi locations in the city of Chicago.
Techno Finder is just one example of using open data to locate public services. The City of Chicago has many other public services available on their data portal such as workforce centers, specialty clinics, and public libraries. This application could easily be expanded to use these data sources.
This application could also be re-used across cities. The Chicago Data Portal is built on the Socrata platform. Which means other cities that use the same platform could create the same dataset with similar information and the application could easily point to that data source.
The source code for this application is publicly available on github.