The EPA announced today the winners of its mobile apps for the environment challenge, a competition that encouraged developers to find new, innovative uses for the agency's unwieldy stores of environmental data.
The winning apps used a range of EPA data from air quality and abandoned uranium mines to light bulbs and carbon emissions. The diversity of mobile apps provided a glimpse of just how much data the EPA has.
Onto the winners. The best overall app went to the light bulb finder developed by Adam Borut and Andrea Nylund of EcoHatchery in Milwaukee, Wis.
The free mobile app aims to make it easier to switch from incandescent to energy-efficient light bulbs. For each recommendation, the app displays a bulb image, specifications, energy and dollar savings and carbon dioxide emissions reductions. Users can buy the energy-saving bulbs they choose through the app or at their local retailer.
Runner up, best overall app: Hootroot by Matthew Kling of Brighter Planet in Shelburne, Vt. The mobile app aims to green your route by providing directions from point A to point B and the carbon footprint for different modes of travel that you might want to use to get there, including mass transit, driving and human-powered transport (walking or biking).
Winner, best student app: EarthFriend by Ali Hasan and Will Fry of Differential Apps and Fry Development Co., Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, N.C., and J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, N.C.
Runner up, best student app: Environmental Justice Participatory Mapping by Robert Sabie Jr. of Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.
The online map app gives citizens access to basic information on unregulated water sources and abandoned uranium mine features.
Popular choice award: CG Search by Suresh Ganesan of Cognizant Technology Solutions, South Plainfield, N.J.
This app allows users across the United States to visually compare the air quality index, air pollutant levels and energy consumption of various cities.
Photo: Light Bulb Finder