2016 App Ideas

Here are some ideas to inspire you!

Office of Sustainability

Saving Water – How can the County better encourage residents to conserve water?

California’s recent drought has highlighted the importance of water conservation and local governments across the state are actively encouraging their residents to find ways to cut back on water usage. Here are some ideas that might be helpful for residents:

  • Weather data/forecasting to determine whether residents should water outside or not
  • List of water saving appliances, drought tolerant plants, water rebates, etc.
  • Information about water overuse penalties and fines

Expanded Recycling – How can the County connect residents to appropriate resources for recycling/discarding materials, supplies, furniture, etc.?

There are many different resources for County residents to dispose of their different materials and supplies, but sometimes they can be difficult to locate. Here are some questions that County residents often have when looking to dispose of different materials/supplies:

  • What do I need to recycle/dispose of?
  • Where am I located?
  • What resources are available?
  • What is the cost?

The County hosts a Recycling Database (www.recycleworks.org). How could we share this information in an easy to access format?

Amazon for Surplus Property – How can the County more effectively share and/or dispose of equipment it no longer wants or need?

When the County has furniture or equipment that it no longer wants or needs, the items are sent to the County Surplus Warehouse, where they are either redistributed to departments, donated to nonprofits or sold at a public auction. A helpful application would:

  • Enable County employees to see what equipment is available before purchasing new equipment
  • Allow for nonprofits to view available equipment
  • Enable employees to take pictures of their equipment

Alternative Transportation – How can the County harness technology to encourage employees to seek alternative modes of transportation to work?

Traffic congestion in the Bay Area is at an all-time high, and public agencies across the region are encouraging employees to seek out alternative modes of transportation to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and parking lot overcrowding. Here is a list of the alternative modes of transportation that County encourages its employees to use:

  • Public Transportation – The County provides a small monthly subsidy for employees to take public transit (e.g. Caltrain, BART, SamTrans, etc.).
  • Carpool – The county provides a small monthly subsidy and carpool-only parking spaces for employees who utilize this benefit.
  • Vanpool – The County connects groups of employees with a vanpool vendor and provides a subsidy for each employee.
  • Walking or Biking – The County provides a small monthly subsidy for employees to walk or bike to work and bike lockers for employees who choose to bike to work.

Parking Structure – How can the County track the number of cars in the employee parking lot?

Parking at County Center is at a premium, and the County does not have a way of tracking the number of cars in the parking lot or the number of spaces still available. Here is some information about the County Center employee parking lot:

  • Employees must scan employee ID’s to lift automatic gates
  • 5 levels; 4 dedicated to employees only
  • Parking lot is open to the public starting at 5pm

The Sea Level Rise Experience – Help illustrate the impact of sea level rise using mobile technology

San Mateo County is the most vulnerable area in California to sea level rise. The County’s Sea Change initiative works to assess the impact of sea level rise on all aspects of life in the County. To help illustrate what life might be like under a variety of sea level rise scenarios, a moblie app could:

  • Model sea level rise using services like Street View to show what houses and buildings are vulnerable to a variety of sea level rise
  • Illustrate how transportation choices would be impacted by sea level rise
  • Create new ways to communicate and remind users what impact different sea level rise scenarios would have on their lives.

A wide range of resources on sea level rise can be found here: http://seachangesmc.com/resources/ Data specifically for San Mateo County can be found here: http://arcg.is/1U8MaJ5

Human Services Agency (HSA)

Mint for foster youth — Help older foster youth with life skills coaching.

Foster youth who are preparing to enter the workforce need life skills coaching to help prepare them for a variety of new situations including:

  • Job interviews
  • Interpersonal interactions
  • Basic financial coaching.

We need a way to help educate foster youth about a variety of life skills and serve as a means of communication for the County for other benefits such as CalFresh and job training opportunities.

4C’s early childhood passport — Help young children get the services they need

Parents of 3 and 4 year olds can use help finding out about services and keeping track of services their children receive. We need a way to connect parents of young kids to their doctors, County service providers, and find out about other services like:

  • EBT/CalFresh
  • Housing assistance
  • Connections to other services

This solution can offer a way for both parents and service providers to keep track of appointments and create a record of what assessments children have completed. Service directory information is available via SMC Connect: https://www.smc-connect.org/ and the Ohana API: https://github.com/codeforamerica/ohana-api

Big Lift Helper — The Big Lift is a program to help students improve their school performance: http://www.thebiglift.org/.

We’re looking for a way to help these approximately 900 kids and their families:

  • Stay in touch with their teachers and schools on a regular basis
  • Track developmental and academic progress
  • Build community

Many of these students receive services from the County. Interacting with families about school is another way to communicate about potential service eligibility.

HOT Tally — The County’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) is required to perform a census of homeless individuals and families every two years.

The HOT Team would like to strategically deploy a solution that would allow them to:

  • Perform counts more frequently
  • Map the results in real time
  • Use to connect with homeless people and families to receive services

GoFundMe for Foster Youth – The Children’s Fund (http://childrensfund.smcgov.org/) works to help low-income and foster children maintain and improve their quality of life. The Children’s Fund relies on donors to provide items to the kids in their programs.

The Children’s fund would like to connect with potential donors with a solution that:

  • Is donor focused
  • Allows donors to see what items foster children need
  • Helps donors go to a site and purchase what kids need
  • Integrates with online shopping sites like Amazon
  • Coordinates donors dropping off items instead of spending money

Cloud-based storage for important documents for foster youth

  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test results
  • Resumes

Organization tool for specific information related to particular job leads for foster youth

  • Contacts
  • References
  • Research materials
  • Two way communication with job training programs

Employment tools for foster youth

  • Resume templates
  • Resume builder
  • Suggested language for cover letters
  • Required skill sets
  • Career exploration

Ask.com for foster youth

Reference tool for frequent questions and answers related to post-secondary education and employment

  • Ask.com meets Siri

Health System

Mobile health and dental clinic trackers – The County has two mobile clinics, one for health and one for dental work. The Health System would like a solution that helps them:

  • Track where each mobile clinic is in real time
  • Publish maps of each mobile clinic location
  • Publish schedules and services for each clinic
  • Integrate with other transit information and ideally, with other nearby health services.

The County can install GPS hardware in the mobile clinics, so hardware solutions are encouraged.

Access to locally grown foods 1 – A solution for County residents that provides information about stores that sell locally grown food in San Mateo County.

  • Locally grown foods are often described as food grown within a 100-200 miles foodshed radius
  • Currently, everyone knows that one place to buy locally grown foods is at a farmers market
  • It is often very difficult to find the time to visit a farmers market
  • A solution would support people in their effort to buy locally grown foods and improve the local food systems
  • Link to recipes to locally grown food
  • Where locally grown food is grown and where that food is sold

Access to locally grown foods 2 – Locally grown food is sold in large chain grocery stores as well. How can the County get information about what food is locally grown but sold in larger stores? This solution would provide

  • Crowdsourced data on what stores, big or small, sell local food
  • What neighborhoods are in food deserts
  • Where healthy food is available
  • Include maps
  • Rate pricing of food for sale ($, $$, $$$)