From Google Maps API Blog:
This seems like a very cool idea and I think theMechanism will get involved:
Posted by Mano Marks, Geo APIs Team. Our friends up at NetSquared recently opened a mashup challenge to engage developers in helping nonprofits realize some of their web ideas. The concept is pretty simple. First, nonprofits post ideas on data they have and what they'd like to be able do do with it on the web. Then, product managers and developers peruse projects and sign up to help produce specs and bring them to life over the course of the next month. Nonprofits with the coolest mashup at the end are eligible for grants totaling $100k at this year’s NetSquared conference in May. This year there's extra emphasis on openness, from standards and data to software and ideas. If your mashup can itself be mashed up, all the better. Mix and match APIs from different sources as you see fit—the only goal is to meet a need that a nonprofit has expressed. We like this idea a lot, and we want to help it—and potential volunteers like you—succeed. On March 7, we’ll be hosting a hackathon at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, for participants, where you’ll be able to talk shop with API experts from Google. We'll also be inviting gurus from other API providers in the area to join us so you get all the help you need. If you sign up to work on a project you’ll hear more from NetSquared about this event and others like it. Go check out some of the projects, think about how you might be able to apply your design skills and API wizardry to help these groups out, sign up, and mash away!