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Assess Resources And Look For Allies

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 You’ll most probably need all hands on deck! But whose? First think, who is indispensable in your team (for many different reasons) and establish contact with them; individuals as well as institutions. Besides formal/working partners, think about strategic allies; important players in open data or policy-making fields, that may help you with passing through new policies, promoting new tools and other issues.

 

THREE WINNING OPEN DATA APPS AND THE PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD

 

Apps4Warsaw competition came to an end on June 26th. The first 3 places on received a 5000 USD award and a chance to participate in a 3 months incubation process. Additionally, the Public Choice Award amounted to 4000 PLN. The apps were incubated during a carefully crafted 3 months process. The awards for the teams were generously funded by TechSoup Global and Microsoft Europe.

 

Divide and Assign

 

Once you’ve got partners and funding (the latter may take a while), revise your work plan thoroughly with the partners and assign responsibilities and specific tasks to partners, providing them with a set of internal procedures. Make the decision-making process within the partnership as open as possible; make sure every partner feels ownership of taken decisions and the whole process.

 

Communicate and Be Flexible

 

Communication is the key to successful cooperation with the partners. Think about useful procedures and tools for communicating all project-related issues and stick to them. In Apps4Warsaw we implemented easy solutions like group emails, monthly consortium meetings and quarterly financial reports. Also, a coordinator on side of each partner is essential, with a clear leadership of one of them. Try to provide an ongoing evaluation on all project stages. It may be hard at times, but will also make your cooperation with the partners more mature and successful. Mind that the management of a complex body is a complex task and requires a lot of flexibility in order to achieve your goals!

 

APPS4WARSAW

Apps4Warsaw (in PL: “Dane po warszawsku”) is more than a competition for the best city apps built upon City of Warsaw publically available open data. We want to promote open data and engage people in creating civic technology tools for their city. We aim to set paths for City of Warsaw opening up its data sets and becoming an open and innovative city.

 

To do so we have:

 

Selected the data sets to be open (download and look through over 50 selected data sets); Designed and built a unique technical environment where data is stored and published (read more about the ways in which we made data accessible below); Planned the open data contest (read more about the idea and the way we run the contest below);

 

Developed all the necessary procedures within the City for the opening process to be continued (discover our tips for how to work with your city below). From public art guides to bus schedules, bike paths and budget information, these apps can make cities safer, government more transparent, business ideas more effective and urban denizens more informed.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

The platform used for publishing data in the Apps for Warsaw competition was designed and built by Orange Labs (Orange Polska S.A.) and then installed on the Warsaw City Council servers. You can find the code and the documentation on it on GitHub. The platform consists of two elements: Data Server responsible for the exposition of static data sets and function server middleware dedicated for an exposition of data from the city of Warsaw web services and databases. The platform is fully scalable as all the used components can function within clusters. It is the first open-source platform based on real-time open data which allows so many data sets of different types to be available at once including the on-line data e.g. from public transport exposed in open and easy to use format.

THREE WINNING OPEN DATA APPS AND THE PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD

 

Apps4Warsaw competition came to an end on June 26th. The first 3 places on received a 5000 USD award and a chance to participate in a 3 months incubation process. Additionally, the Public Choice Award amounted to 4000 PLN. The apps were incubated during a carefully crafted 3 months process. The awards for the teams were generously funded by TechSoup Global and Microsoft Europe.

 

1st Place – Warsaw Ninja

 

Warsaw Ninja is an app for public transport users to share information about problems and delays en route. In every big city with a complicated public transport grid citizens experience problems when trains or trams get stuck on the way or if construction works cause delays. Warsaw Ninja allows users to share all transport-related problems in real time allowing them to make informed commute decisions.

 

Link to the project site (in PL)

 

During the next 3 months of incubation, WarsawNinja will work on the social aspect of the application: defining and building the community of users and partnerships with local administration. The code behind WarsawNinja is similar to the one of its forerunner in Boston and is open source.

 

2nd Place – Curtain up!

 

Curtain up! is an app for aggregating and filtering Warsaw cultural events. The ambition of the team is to create a democratic platform were both mainstream and alternative events could be added and easily searched through by users.

 

Link to the project site (in PL)

 

App creators will now work on scraping data they didn’t manage to find on the city of Warsaw open data platform. They will make the app more user-friendly and work on the design. The next things coming are partnerships with cultural institutions, and a carefully crafted promotion plan.

 

3rd Place – Safe Warsaw

 

Safe Warsaw is an app for alerting your friends, family and those around you when you are in danger. The app sends your location to the ones you put on a special list informing them that you need help after you press a special button on your phone.

 

Link to the project site (in PL)

 

The incubation of Safe Warsaw will start with helping the team define what the app is exactly and whose needs it responds to. We need to think of how to build the Safe Warsaw brand so that people trust it – it is a powerful tool, but due to the data sensitivity issues, it can be dangerous if it isn’t well monitored.

 

Public Choice Award – the Rollerblading map of Warsaw

 

Rollerblading map of Warsaw is an app for rollerbladers with routes and opinions. The creators claim there is no easy way to map and share recreational routes among the rollerbladers. The routes featured in the app are filtered by several categories, including safety.

 

Link to the project site (in PL)

 

During the next few months, Rollerbladers will focus on defining different layers of their product and plan to build them: bit by bit. They need to hurry and implement it before the end of the season in order to be able to really test it.

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