16 developers and designers showed off their projects and many more participated at this weekend’s API Hack Day PDX. The overall winner was an app that helps friends communicate about a planned event using an email and SMS hybrid. Others took on Portland government data and worked with multiple APIs to get details around a specific location. We list many of them in our Hackday Gallery.
In addition to developers and designers, the event attracted technology employees from the City of Portland, there to discuss its PDXCouncilConnect API. The service provides details on city council agendas, locations and votes. Where many governments provide open data, Portland has made council schedules available as an API. That’s the right choice for developers to easily use the data and it’s also the easiest way to make sure applications have the latest data.
O’Reilly’s Andy Oram attended the event and published his thoughts on Radar. Oram argues that government contests may not produce sustainable applications, a topic we have explored some in the pros and cons of government contests.
Of course, most projects completed in 8 hours require more work to make them sustainable. A hackathon is really for prototypes more than polished applications. Over the weekend in Portland we saw a number of apps that show promise if taken out of prototype mode. Hopefully we’ll see their creators do just that.
For more on the submissions to API Hack Day PDX, check out the application gallery, which includes most of the demoed apps.