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Challenges from USGS, Association of American Geographers, and Virginia

2013 January 24

Here are three challenges that may interest developers. We’ll keep an eye out for green apps that result from the challenges.

USGS Challenge: App-lifying and Enhancing USGS Earth Science Data

USGS (United States Geological Survey) scientists are looking for your help in addressing some of today’s most perplexing scientific challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Through the Challenge.gov platform, the USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS) is inviting the Nation’s premier application developers and data visualization specialists to create new applications centered on CSAS datasets.

Submissions will be judged on their relevance to today’s scientific challenges, innovative use of the datasets, and overall ease of use of the application, with prizes awarded in several categories. Submissions are due by April 1, 2013. To learn more, visit http://applifyingusgsdata.challenge.gov/.

Robert Raskin Mashup Mapping Competition

Here’s a Dynamic Web Map Design Competition sponsored by Association of American Geographers Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group. Hosted by San Diego State University and the AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group (CISG).

It’s open to all full time college students and the goals are to promote research and awareness of web-based GIS and Mashup applications, encourage spatial thinking and the development of geospatial cyberinfrastructure in colleges and universities in the United States, and to inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and web map representation for students and the broader public. The deadline is February 11, 2013. See the details at http://mappingideas.sdsu.edu/mashup/.

Apps4VA: Design an app about the impact of education

The Apps4VA program challenges the public to develop apps that will use or analyze educational information to make a great app that helps understand the nature or impact of educational reach and help us to plan for the future. Apps4VA supports the development and implementation of a data system, the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, that would link teachers to their students and provide educators and policymakers with aggregate data on Virginia public school students’ progress toward college and career readiness. The program is sponsored by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Two challenges are open until January 31:

Apps4VA  Open Competition.  Build an application using at least one dataset from the VLDS K-1 Data Catalog.  The Grand Prize is $5K!  Submit as many apps as you would like.

Apps4VA High School  Competitions. This competition is exclusively for Virginia high school students, who can enter an idea for a theoretical app or develop an actual working prototype to win cash for themselves and for their sponsoring schools.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Green apps are coming out of the woodwork!

2013 January 7

Ring in the new year with a green app! My Green Apps launched last month with over 100 apps and we’ve added 31 more apps based on your suggestions – thanks! You can check out the list of green apps here.

For your convenience, here are the apps people suggested recently (they’re not from EPA):

HabitatMap.org is an online mapping and social networking platform designed to maximize the impact of community voices on city planning and strengthen ties between organizations and activists working to build greener, more sustainable cities. On the web at http://www.habitatmap.org/.

AirCasting.org is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world air measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the CrowdMap. On Android at http://www.aircasting.org/.

Recargo is a website and app for Plug-In Vehicles. Find electric vehicle charging stations, search for food and activities on your trip with Yelp, and stay connected with the community and news from PluginCars.com. For Android and iPhone at.http://www.recargo.com/.

Lexicon of Groundwater and Water Well Terms is a useful tool for students studying hydrology, hydrogeology, or other environmental fields as well as those already working in groundwater-related professions. On iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lexicon-groundwater-water/id445591710?mt=8.

Water1der is an educational trivia based game about groundwater, pollution prevention, irrigation, the water cycle, aquifers, and more. The game uses features of smartphones, like “spinning” a wheel to select a question and using drag and drop to label an aquifer. For Android and iPhone at http://www.groundwater.org/water1der.html.

Spare the Air shows the daily air quality forecast for the five regions in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. On iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spare-the-air/id423478300?mt=8.

Wateropolis is a water treatment app that has field conversions, calculations and look up information that is hard to find in one place. For iPhone at http://www.wateropolis.com.

A few requests:

  • Please tell us what apps you want developers to make. Click on the “I Like” icon for an idea you like. Then we’ll tell developers what you want so they can make the apps.
  • Suggest more green apps that are already out there.
  • Share the site with your friends.

H-appy new year!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Looking for a stocking stuffer? Try a green app!

2012 December 20

Looking for a perfect gift? Take a look at My Green Apps, EPA’s new site that has over 100 environmental apps you can recommend to family or friends. 84 of the apps are free and they range from games to reduce your environmental footprint to apps about reducing carbon dioxide emissions from commuting.

While you’re there, check out a few apps for yourself. You can even tell EPA what apps you want a developer to make. Green apps. Isn’t that a nice way to help someone make a difference this holiday?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

There’s 101 apps for that: check out EPA’s My Green Apps!

2012 December 12

EPA just launched My Green Apps, your destination for 101 apps to help you understand and protect the environment. You can sort the apps by topic or platform, or suggest an existing app we could add to the site. But wait, there’s more! We want you to tell us which ideas should be turned into apps. That’s right, once we hear from you we’ll show the feedback to software developers so they can actually make the apps. EPA has already done some homework for developers and suggested environmental data that could be used to build these apps.

Visit My Green Apps (www.epa.gov/mygreenapps/) to get an app that makes a difference. And spread the word!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.