The event was pretty interesting as well as the discussed topics. Community managers and representatives from several technical organizations were invited to this small seminar, to reveal the partnership between the Egyptian company called eSpace and Google regarding the upcoming Egyptian elections.
Google has its own Elections API, and already used in several countries like Nigeria, UK, and Turkey. Now for the first time, Egypt decided to take this step and help people in the elections by using technology.
Update 1: Pictures from the event: http://goo.gl/WDBIH
Update 2: Find below attached materials and documentations about the APIs.
The process is very simple, any Egyptian wants simple answers to some questions like:
1) Am I eligible to vote?
3) Who is elected?
4) What's his program?
5) Where on map will I vote?
6) The boundaries of my voting area, on map?
7) The committee number and the box number inside this committee?
And some similar questions...
eSpace already produced a good website to start with and currently it performs some limited operations, but this website is just the start, soon and within one week or two, as presented in the event, there will be more options and operations, to help satisfying the previously mentioned questions. The highlighted note was that, they are trying to help the individual who is going to elect, not the candidate by a direct way, this is a citizen services not candidates.
Following that, they will release the APIs for any developer to use, to produce a customized version for citizens, like mobile app, featured website, SMS gateway, and any other thing of your imagination.
The usage of APIs is free but under several terms and conditions, the most highlighted are:
1) One only allowed IP address for requests per individual.
2) Limited number of transactions per hour (~4 millions).
3) No data storing.
4) No modifications in data.
5) Not to be used by any party's website or anything related to them.
6) You must go to the ministry to sign the contract and gain access to the APIs.
7) The app or website must be free. And in case of displaying ads, you must get approval on the ads first from the ministry.
It sounds very useful, and I wish to see great apps based on that. I also think that we, Cairo-GTUG, as a community, could produce a great thing for Egypt regarding this topic, so I thought about producing an opensource Android app and website to help people in the upcoming elections (this one and in the future also).
If you think that you are interested to join this opensource project that will be produced by Cairo-GTUG, and you can contribute in this as a volunteer work, then please fill the following form, and don't forget to share with everyone: