TfGM supports open data app contest

Transport for Greater Manchester is to make sets of data available to software developers and coders as part of competition aimed at finding useful mobile applications to improve the public transport experience.

The Routes to the Future Innovation Challenge will take place in March as an intensive 48-hour competition with cash and in-kind prizes available for the programmers who produce the best ideas.

The competition will be held as part of the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas & Digital Invention.

David Hytch, information systems director, TfGM said: "What starts off as raw data provided by us can be used in all sorts of imaginative and creative ways to create exciting and informative apps that will help people in Greater Manchester get the most of our network.

"We're very excited to be working with FutureEverything on Routes to the Future. We're making as much data available as we can for the weekend and look forward to seeing the results.

The contest will be held at Four Piccadilly Place and will begin straight after the main FutureEverything conference ends at 6pm on Friday 22 March.

The Routes to the Future Innovation Challenge is made possible through support from TfGM, and FutureEverything and Manchester City Council's participation in the Europewide CitySDK project.

TfGM is making new datasets available for the challenge, and these will be added to other data already available through Data Greater Manchester's stores. Designed specifically at finding solutions to help Greater Manchester citizens get more from their public transport options, it is expected that over 100 people will take part in the challenge.

The cash prize and development fund available is £11,000.

The Routes to the Future Innovation Challenge follows the successful Manchester Hackathon, which was organised by FutureEverything, held in November 2012 at which 16 teams took part. The grand prize of £4,600 was won by Data Crossfader, created by James Rutherford and Ashley Herriott, a visualisation tool that plots information on a map of Manchester to allow people to compare important sets of data.

CitySDK is a European project that partners the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Helsinki, Istanbul, Lamia, Manchester and Rome to build common data interfaces for the creation of services and applications enabling larger markets and cooperation.

Routes to the Future is part of the CitySDK project partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.

Anyone interested in taking part in the challenge should register their interest on the FutureEverything site.

FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention is taking place from Thursday 21 Sunday 24 March.

Delegate passes for the conference are on sale now at the early bird rate of £60. Passes are available at

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