We’re happy to announce the winners of the Google Places API Developer Challenge, an event that brought together 87 developers from 27 countries around the world to build applications that address some of the most pressing needs facing our communities. The winning apps address important community issues such as emergency response, homelessness, public transport and environmental impact. Many exciting prizes await these talented developers, whom we look forward to seeing later this year at Google I/O.

Challenge participants were encouraged by civic leaders to combine the Google Places API with one or more municipal data sets to create an application that helps improve their communities.  You can check out the applications gallery to see the full suite of incredible applications submitted by developers around the globe, then continue reading to see how the four winning developers and three runners-up succeeded in meeting the goals of the challenge!

And the winners are...

Judges’ Choice Awards:

Enchentes.org by Jonathan Kraemer (Brazil)
Enchentes.org is an application that helps flood victims find shelter and other resources.  Users can see the flooded areas on different river levels to plan evacuation routes, and determine safe routes to supermarkets, hospitals and shelters.  In the future, the application may allow users to register issues like car accidents, falling trees blocking streets and other road blockages to assist with safe route planning.  View the demo video.

Homeless REACH by Jim Horner (United States)
The Homeless REACH platform allows anyone to quickly find up-to-date, real-time information on available shelters and services within a selectable radius of their current location or from any address.  Designed for caregivers, the application allows individuals to quickly and accurately find resources to aid in the care of the homeless.  View the demo video.

TTC Pass by Christian Muise (Canada)
TTC Pass is a website that allows for collaborative editing of the locations for purchasing various transit fares in the city of Toronto.  Visitors can search for specific types of transit passes, update the availability of passes at a specific location, or add new locations to the data.  View the demo video.

We’d also like to recognize the runners up, who submitted some amazing apps:

  • CrosscutUSA by CrosscutUSA (United States) - View the demo video.
  • Save the Rain by Mark Laudon (Canada) - View the demo video.
  • GrowShare by William Mantegna (United States) - View the demo video.

People’s Choice Award:  

GeoLanka by Bhagya Silva (Sri Lanka)
Over the past years, the property prices of Sri Lanka have risen to an all-time high.  One of the primary reasons is that there is no consolidated way to discover values of properties that are for sale around any place.  GeoLanka brings together all the leading property sales/rental websites in Sri Lanka to one view where the general public can go and view the properties for sale/rent.  View the demo video.

We’d like to thank all of the developers who participated in this challenge for contributing their great ideas and hard work! We discovered some great examples of simple, useful, and powerful applications that have the potential to really improve local communities and cities, and the lives of the people that live there.  

For more information on the Geo APIs, please visit: https://developers.google.com/maps/

Posted by Rob Gray, Head of Product Marketing, Google Maps for Business