Call for Entries

Mobile Competition: Call for Entries

Develop a mobile application or service of the new decade for Helsinki region public transport users utilizing HSL’s APIs. Earn reputation and prizes.

The aim of the competition is to develop services for users of mobile devices that encourage them to cycle, walk and use public transport. Competition entries may be anything from a sensible and efficient aid for weekday travel to a game inspiring people to embark on an urban adventure. Entries may be services and applications that are already in use, ones that are developed especially for the competition, or ones that are still in the demo stage. The services and applications must work on mobile devices. The only requirement is that the timetable and route information must be based on data provided by HSL’s APIs.  

There are no separate categories in the competition but the judges will seek to award entries made for different purposes and in different stages of development in a balanced manner. The judges will also look at how well the entries reflect one or more of the following themes.

The use situations of public transport mobile applications and services vary greatly. People must be able to use the applications and services in strong winds and cold temperatures, in moving vehicles, indoors, etc. In addition, the number of users is high, and the skills and interests of the users vary widely.    

User potential
Helsinki region has 1.3 million inhabitants. A large part of them are potential users of public transport. It is as well for the competitors to think about how to adapt the solution for a large number of users as well as for different devices, and how to achieve the highest user potential for the service.  

Walking and cycling
Public transport routes always include walking or cycling. Including other modes of transport to public transport routing helps users to manage all the stages of their journeys. HSL wants to promote low-emission transport and encourage people to cycle and walk.

New ideas
The competition also seeks to find new insights into how the applications should work and what kind of advanced technical solutions the participants have utilized. At least the following trends are discernible in the development of HSL's eservices: personal location and location of vehicles, use of real-time information, authentication and payment.

A finished application gives the impression of a reliable public transport service. Instructions, reliability, user support, taking into account user feedback and careful implementation make the result credible.

Connectivity to other information resources
An open operating environment makes it possible to link the routing to other information. A journey always has a purpose; it can be related, for example, to an interesting place or event. Information provided by other users can also facilitate route choice or make the journey more enjoyable.

We hope that the entries would attract city dwellers to make use of information related to public transport, walking and cycling when traveling. This can also be made fun.
Available APIs

Journey Planner and Journey Planner for Cycling
Through the Journey Planner API you can search for route and timetable information. A new feature in the Planner is route information for walking and cycling. All timetable information is available also as a data dump file in XML format.
Instructions and opening of the API:

My Departures
Through the service you can search for timetables at a specific stop. For some vehicles, real-time information is available. No log in is required.

Disruption Info
Disruption Info provides traffic alerts and information on cancelled departures. No log in is required.

HSL Vehicles
The service shows the location of all trams on a map in real-time. During the competition, a push type interface for socket connections and query API for http requests are available. To obtain the right to use the interfaces and documentation, contact

Other user sources of information:

Oma kaupunki (in Finnish):


The total value of cash prizes is EUR 12,000. In addition, the prizes include two mobile phones, Nokia X3 and Nokia N8. The panel of judges is free to decide the number of competitors to be awarded and how the prizes are awarded.

HSL reserves the possibility to negotiate with the awarded participants on the further development and maintenance of the applications or services. Potential orders and compensation will be agreed with participants selected by HSL on a case by case basis.

Competition entries
Entries may be services and applications that are already in use, ones that are developed especially for the competition, or ones that are still in the demo stage. The applications or services must work on Nokia, Android or Apple mobile devices. The entries are submitted for evaluation by sending a link, installation file or the web address of the service as well as clear instructions for the installation and use of the application or service. Also applications available via Nokia Ovi Store, Android Market, Apple Appstore or other similar services are accepted.  

To participate in the competition, submit your entry by email at

Your email must include the following information:
-  Link or other information on where the application or service is available. If the application or service is liable to charge, HSL does not automatically agree to accept it into the competition if the cost is over EUR10.
-  A list of devices compatible with the application or service
-  Instructions for installing the application or service if the application or service in question is not available from a well-known SaaS provider.
-  A short description of the functionalities of the application or service
-  A presentation on how the application works, for example a Flash or PowerPoint presentation. If the size of the presentation exceeds 5MB, you have to provide a download link for it. The presentation must work in Windows environment.  
-  Name of the participant
-  A functioning email address of the participant
-  Phone number where the participant can be reached.

Participants will get a confirmation of competition entries received.

Competition process

  1. The competition opens in February
  2. Collection of public transport users’ development ideas on the Oma Kaupunki website begins  
  3. The competition closes on 4 April 2011.
  4. Finalists are chosen. The finalists will have an opportunity to present their entries to the panel of judges at a time to be announced later on.  
  5. The finalists are published for public to vote their favourite.
  6. The panel of judges selects other winners.
  7. Results are published on 12  May2011, 5PM, at an award ceremony in Sanomatalo.

Competition language
The technical documentation of APIs submitted to the competition is either English or Finnish, depending on the service. Other competition documents are in Finnish. The documentation and application interfaces of the entries must be in Finnish, Swedish or English.

All official information during the competition is posted on The progress of the competition can also be followed on twitter.

For the purposes of the competition a website is opened in the Oma kaupunki service (in Finnish) where users of public transport can submit their development suggestions for service developers. The finalists will be presented on the Oma kaupunki website and readers can vote for their favourite.  

Information about the competition will be communicated also through channels targeted at Nokia’s software developers.

Participants to the competition are responsible for that the competition entries do not infringe the copyright of a third party. The copyright for the applications and services will remain with the developer.

The competition is organized by HSL and Forum Virium Helsinki.  The competition is sponsored by HS Oma kaupunki, Vartti, Metro, Seasam, Logica, Mattersoft and Nokia. Personnel of HSL and Forum Virium Helsinki cannot participate in the competition.