We missed the original news about the Google Places API Developer Challenge, and presumably so did many others. There is still plenty of time to enter to win a VIP trip to Google I/O 2013.
The Google Places API is a service that returns information about geospatial elements on Google Maps or Google Earth, such as establishments, geographic locations, or prominent points of interest using HTTP requests.
As this video explains the aim of the contest is to encourage developers to build an app that makes their community better or helps their municipal authority:
The examples suggested are an app or site, on any platform, mobile or desktop that solves health problems, understands crime patterns, or improves commerce. Now a follow up video has been produced in which City spokespersons for San Fransisco, Chicago, New York and London, including two of the contest's judging panel, provide some more concrete ideas how the places API and municipal datasets could be used to produce the sort of "killer" apps that might win prizes in this competition.
The competition is open around the world with a few exceptions and to be eligible you have to be over the age of majority (see the Rules), submissions have to be in English and incorporate both the Google Places API and publicly available municipal data; teams of any size and individuals can enter and submissions are being accepted until October 31st.
Three prizes of "an immersive experience at Google I/O 2013" will be awarded by the Judging Panel and another one will be chosen by the voting public. The package comprises:
2 Google I/O tickets per winning team
$3500 travel stipend
A chance to showcase their app at Google I/O 2013
Dinner with the Google Maps and Places API team
Three runners up will receive one Google Nexus 7 16gb tablet and a 15-minute hang out with a Google Executive.
Are these prizes enticing enough? Maybe this contest is relying too much on developer's community spirit.