The City of Houston Open Innovation Hackathon was just this past weekend, and it was actually pretty fun to work on something for a few hours. I joined a team from Alvarez & Marsal, who wanted to build something for the iOS platform on the Hackathon. We were very strapped for time, so we ended up doing a simpler iOS application that we thought would still be useful to the Houston community.
That iOS application is called YES Parking, and the idea was to build a map based app that would help drivers find parking locations within Houston. We built the iOS app to plot parking meters, valet parking zones, special events together with their availability and rate information. We wanted to display parking citation and crime incident data as well, but we ran out of time.
It was tough building something quickly over the 6-7 hours of time that were available, while still wrangling the data formats that were provided as part of the Houston Open Data initiative. I wish there was a public web API of some sort that we could use to get access to this data in a programatic way.
In any case, at the end of the hackathon a working prototype of the YES Parking app was ready for demonstration. Hopefully I can do some polish work on the app and actually release it on the iTunes App Store in the near future.