Yesterday I got a chance to see the winners of the Apps4Finland competition, which gave out over €20,000 in prizes for people leveraging Finland's open datasets. I consider myself a big fan of open data, and am surprised it's not a standard government practice around the world by now - taxpayers are already paying for data collection, so it makes no sense for it to be locked up,
The competition was broken down into several categories in which individual prizes were awarded. These included the Idea category, Application, Visualisation, Data, and Data tutorial category.
The winner of the Idea category was Kalle Tiihonen for his idea of having the Helsinki energy company open up an API so homeowners can track their energy usage.
The Application category's winner was Ilkka Pirttimaa with BlindSquare, a pretty amazing tool for blind people to find restaurants and stores using Foursquare's API. Full story to come later.
In the Visualization category, Mikko Heikkinen won for a tool that lets you see the air quality based on your location by changing the background color of your Andorid background. More information can be found here (Finnish).
The Data category's winner was Antti Poikola, Leo Lahti, Juha Yrjölä, Ville Korhonen, Joona Lehtomäki, Juuso Parkkinen,and Teemo Tebest with Datavaalit, a well put together tool that makes open data accessible.
The Data Tutorial category winner was Jukka Rahkonen with tools and guidance for using Finland's geography and map data. More information here (Finnish).
See the full list of winners, plus the winners of the Special Categories, including Maps4Finland, Stats4Finland, and NewBiz4Finland, on the Apps4Finland blog.