Whoever takes of Joburg’s municipal council following the recent local elections, we really hope that they carry on the excellent work that’s been put into supporting developers and startups over the last couple of years. Its #HackJozi annual event offers a cool one million rand prize for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, and the CoJedi program has put hundreds of aspiring IT technicians through internship programs. And now there’s another big money competition open to software firms who reckon they can solve city-specific issues with tech.

The GeoJozi Developer Challenge, for that is its name, is being run by the City of Johannesburg in collaboration with Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and mapping software company, Esri South Africa. As its name suggests, the entry criteria are very specific.

It’s open to developers under 30, who can come up with a solution that will improve the City’s systems of allocating and maintaining addresses across the municipality.

“Across the world, street addresses and location are used as fundamental tools for managing cities. But with rapid urbanisation, local governments face increasingly complex and fast-changing urban landscapes that need to be effectively managed and to serve their residents,” the City explains.

If your coding skills are up to scratch and you manage to walk away with the grand prize, you will be R150 000 richer. Snagging second or third prize will be rewarded with R100 000 and R50 000 respectively.

“We are calling on young Johannesburg-based software developers to work with the City to help improve the allocation, maintenance and visibility of street addresses across our city,” explained Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director of JCSE at Wits University.

According to Dwolatzky, not only will the challenge help Joburg authorities, but it is also a step towards creating smart cities modern urban development and 21st century city management.

Dwolatzky explained: “As the world becomes more digitised, more real-time data about cities is becoming available. This data can help to manage cities better and make them smarter. A street address informs us of location, and that is where Geographic Information System (GIS) comes in. It’s all about a specific position or the coordinates on earth.”

If you think you have what it takes, go read up on all the details, requirements and how to enter on the official GeoJozi Developer Challenge website.

[Image – CC by 2.0/Earth Hour]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.