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NYC Big Apps Competition to Find New Uses for City Data
The 2010 version of this contest is now live!
We’ve written about NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Media2020 plan to help boost the media industry in NYC. Part of the initiative is to strengthen the way the city shares data with the public. Earlier this year we saw the launch of NYC Big Apps Ideas which offered a way to crowdsource the ideas that might eventually be developed as part of the NYC Big Apps program which is launching today.
Bloomberg has posted a welcome message on the site and he notes, “Today, the City launched the inaugural NYC BigApps Competition to encourage talented application developers to create innovative online and mobile applications to serve New York City residents, businesses, and visitors. By developing these apps, you can help us make City government more accessible to all New Yorkers.”
There are 170 data sets that developers and entrepreneurs can work with. The data ranges from voting districts, school districts, citywide events schedules and restaurant inspections. I didn’t see anything related to the transit system listed which is a bit disappointing considering how much I think we could help people move around the city using technology.
Each submitted application must use at least one data source available on the NYC.gov Data Mine and can be developed for mobile or basically any computer platform. The applications must be distributed for free and must be submitted by December 8. The NYC Big Apps website was developed by NY-based ChallengePost.
The judges are your typical list of NYC venture capitalists along with California-based Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis. Nothing against Jason but I am a bit confused by Jason’s judge position considering he doesn’t live here and his company is located in California. I can think of 50 local tech people that could have filled the judge slot – amazing that we need to go thousands of miles away to find a judge.
The prizes for the competition include dinner with the Mayor and cash prizes ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.
Jenna Wortham at the NY Times has additional commentary on the launch.