Sensis’s Whereis mapping service is looking to outdo Google by announcing a AU$25,000 developer code-off.

Looking to appeal to developer’s hip pockets and divert attention away from competitors like Google Maps and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, Sensis have teamed up with industry group the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) to get more developer awareness around the Whereis mapping APIs.

Launching next week and concluding in February 2008 the competition is looking for the “next big thing” in mapping mash-ups.

Anthony Reed, senior product manager, Whereis, said the competition was primarily looking for new innovations and ideas for developers to use the Whereis mapping API.

“What’s important is a vision towards the future. The competition will be judged on innovation, design and user-interface, and commercial merits”.

Reed said the competition will help shape ideas and possibly the direction of the Whereis mapping service.

The winner of the competition, to be judged by industry experts from Whereis and AIMIA, will take home AU$15,000 with second prize netting AU$10,000. Other non-cash prizes for innovation will also be awarded.

Only AIMIA industry group members will be permitted to participate. Reed said the competition wasn’t about reaching as many people as it was to reach the right developers in the B2B space.

“AIMIA have a fantastic user base and it’s a quality audience,” Reed said.

AIMIA currently have around 4,000 members Australia-wide.