The EPA has adopted a new mobile strategy, where they see themselves as the providers of data and environment information, but they are not the developers of mobile applications. The EPA recently ran a Apps Challenge where “Apps for the Environment” was a contest for software developers to find new ways to combine and deliver environmental data in new apps. Submissions to the challenge were required to use EPA data, address one of Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Seven Priorities, and be useful to communities or individuals. EPA then was able to pick the best apps and publish them to the public. For more info on the program, and the winners, go to http://www.epa.gov/appsfortheenvironment/ where you can download the winner’s apps submissions and see videos of how the EPA conducted the Apps Environment Challenge. The feedback I received from the EPA was that they would never had imagine creating the apps that were submitted. The diversity and creativity of the contests submissions were amazing, and highlighted what EPA should really be doing with regards to Mobile Apps Development. Each Agency should consider issuing a similar challenge to the private developers to create mobile apps for a particular public need or function. The results and submissions, will probably exceed each Agencies expectations.
Idea No. 94