This afternoon, open data enthusiasts gathered at the Orange Lab Headquarters to hear the results of Dataconnexion’s first open data contest of the year. The contest held applications from March until April 15th, inviting startups, people with ideas, and others to submit their open data idea, which was judged by a jury of open data professionals on May 15th. Thirty startups in total were selected as finalists, of which six were announced this afternoon as the winners of the contest. Each winner presented their project in front of the Open Data community, as well as to share their needs (financial, consulting, HR, operational) in order to develop their project in full.
The Six Selected Projects
FourmiSante: A price comparison site for healthcare, FourmiSante, literally “health ant,” allows users to manage the health budget by finding out where they can get the most reimbursement for their visit. The French healthcare system, although efficient and cheap, can be difficult to navigate if you’re looking for the cheapest doctors, as different doctors reimburse different amounts of your doctor visit (from 60%-100%). Making use of the data provides by the Assurance Maladie (“Health Insurance”) website, Fourmi provides a geo-localized search engine for doctors by price.
Home’N’Go: Looking to solve the extremely aggrevating task of searching for an apartment, Home’N’go relies on some pretty interesting public data about local commerce, schools, parks, and other things that play into the decision of where to live, in order to allow those looking for a new apartment or house to weigh these factors into their decision. Their service, which opened up its public beta earlier this year, allows you to bookmark apartment listings on popular French sites (PAP, LeBonCoin, Appartager, SeLoger), and pull the information into HomeNGo’s interface, and track your progress with each listing (visiting, sending a dossier, etc.).The startup also co-hosts Datapero, a monthly get together (the second of which is on May 31st) around the theme of open web, open data, and big data.
CitizensUp: Available on mobile, tablet, and PC, this service allows you to track the progress of your government. Making use of the Google’s public data explorer, citizens can track the unemployment tax, number of hours worked per week, and other government data sets, and compare them to, for example, Germany’s figures, tracing back all the way to 1970.
Place De l’Immobilier: Oriented towards real-estate professionals, “The real estate place” provides real estate professionals with valuable information for their work. Gathering up more than 20 data sets on more than 3 million locations in France, the service provides information on who lives where, repairs/modifications done to particular buildings, the owner of a particular building, as well as risk information (e.g: is your building in an earthquake zone)
Open Data Ware: The Open Street Map of open data, Open Data Ware’s goal is to allow users to submit their public data as well as make use of the open data offered by Open Data Ware. Essentially, the service allows Open Data Ware to crowd source additions to their database, allowing users to create new data sets, which are then made available to all users.
The Jury also gave special mention to Voxe, the open platform for politics, which recently held a Hack The Elections hackathon.
Etalab: A History
In December of 2011, Etalab opened data.gouv.fr, an open data portal with more than 350K data sets, which allowed developers to make use of government figures. At the same time, they created Dataconnexions, an open data community whose goal was to encourage the use of data.gouv.fr and other open data portals. The community, open to developers, ‘idea-people’, journalists, people looking for work – in short, everyone – offers help to professionals to impliment open data into their project.
In 2012, Dataconnexion has planned to have four contests for the open data community – the first of which was launched in March, with winners announced today. Dataconnexions has not yet announced the dates of the next contest, but are expected to announce them very soon.