EDMONTON — After going through dozens of entries, the provincial government has announced the winners of its “Apps for Alberta” contest and all of the winners are from right here in the province.
“Today we won—I think it was $60,000—that was the Best Overall Award and the Best Made in Alberta award,” said Darkhorse Analytics president Dan Haight . “We have 13 employees in the company and we haven’t talked yet about what to do with the prize money. We’ll probably celebrate somehow as a team.”
The contest, which encouraged developers to use open data to create useful apps for Albertans, received 29 entries from developers across North America.
The winners are:
Best Overall App: “Make the Grade,” designed by Joey Cherdarchuk 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“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.
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Apps for Alberta competition
Haight said many of his staff are parents, and his app answers a question on the minds of many mothers and fathers: “Which school is best for my kids?”
“We used the provincial achievement tests and aggregated them across all subjects and all schools, so you can see how schools fare on those results.”
The apps are now available on the province’s Open Government online portal, which is meant to provide a place for Albertans to easily access government data and information.
“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,” said Service Alberta Minister Deron Bilous.
Service Alberta partnered with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures for the competition, which launched in the spring of 2015.
“It’s extremely gratifying to have a project like this be made public and hopefully provide a lot of use for Albertans in understanding their education system better,” said Haight.