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Meet 10 NYC RANDOM Big Apps Contenders
We covered the launch of the Big Apps competition here in NYC back in October. Mayor Bloomberg noted, “…encourage talented application developers to create innovative online and mobile applications to serve New York City residents, businesses, and visitors.”
The entry period has closed and I thought it would be interesting to highlight 10 of the apps that were submitted. The entire list of submitted applications is available to peruse as well. I selected the 10 apps below completely at random — these are NOT the only finalists. One of the important aspects to remember when you visit one of the Big Apps entries is that the data that is displayed was provided by the city. What this means is that the app (should) be showing everything that meets your desired criteria — but only to the point that the data was provided to the developer. There is a nice variety of apps and some pretty creative ideas!
Update: the voting period has started – check out our post with a link to all of the entrants you can vote from.
From developer: SporkNYC views and locates restaurant health code violations using restaurant inspection data from the NYC DataMine.My quick take: Very quick to respond and I like the spork-rating guide. I did find that if you do a search for a chain (i.e. McDonalds), only 3 results were found. It’s hard for me to imagine that all of the other McDonalds locations in NYC are perfect on inspections. This goes to what I noted above regarding the data provided to the developer
|Who Represents Me?
From developer: Who Represents Me? — By clicking on a point, a user can all of the legislative and head executive officials representing that location, including their city council member, state assembly member, state senator,governor, US representative, US senators, and president. In addition, the site provides links to the borough, state, and country’s Web pages.My quick take: Works very well and displays not only the people representing the absolute location but everyone up the chain in the state. The site could use a stylesheet to make the data display a bit more attractive.
|NYC Broken Meters
From developer: NYC Broken Meters iPhone app brings you, for the first time, a location based, map view of all broken meters in Manhattan and the five boroughs, based on Scout/311 broken parking meter data set. The data set is refreshed when new data becomes available.My quick take: There’s nothing like parking in a spot and finding the big FAIL on the meter – it’s like finding gold. I wish this app worked on more than just the iPhone but it’s a great start.
From developer: Spokes NYC is a free iPhone application for New York City cyclists. It generates ideal bike routes with turn by turn directions for cyclists within city limits. Other features include a bike rack locator, bike shop locator, and the ability to report thefts from a given bike rack.My quick take: I wish I rode a bike!
|Trees Near You
From developer: Trees Near You (a.k.a. TreesNY) is an iPhone application that helps you learn about more than 500,000 trees that live on New York City sidewalks. For any area of the city, from block to borough, you can see the different species that live there, and calculate the environmental (and monetary!) benefits that these trees provide.My quick take: There are trees in NYC?
From developer: Taxihack allows users to post live comments on NYC taxis and their drivers via email (email@example.com) or Twitter (@taxihack). Users send messages to the system, including either the medallion number (like 1A23) or the driver’s number (located on the driver’s id visible in the backseat). The site then posts the comment on the appropriate pages for public viewing, and sends a message back with the URL.My quick take: It’s like the Yelp for taxi drivers. I can’t imagine a cab pulling up and you checking their reviews before you get in, but it could be useful for taxi management.
From developer: BigMapple places NYC public and cultural events on an interactive map that uses data from Twitter and Flickr to show users what people are doing and saying throughout NYC.My quick take:
From developer: LocalNext provides an intuitive way for New Yorkers to find the city’s latest and greatest events filtered by location, category, and timeframe.My quick take: LocalNext suffers from lack of data. If they can combine what they have today plus other sources of data, it would be a great resource to find out what’s happening in a local area of NYC.
From developer: Find the nearest and best directions to New York City subway and NJ Path stations on your Android phone.Way to go! Wayfinder, NYC’s augmented reality app, is designed to help you locate the subway and PATH stations nearest you.My quick take: Holy moly I wish I had an Android Phone. As a huge subway fan, this app looks awesome. It uses the latest crazy of augmented reality to find the subway stations closest to you. If they could combine this with a basic transport trip app, it could be even better.
From developer: Hey Walkies is a website and iphone application designed to bring people and puppies together. While dog owners may know the whereabouts of dog parks in their own neighborhoods, as of yet there is not a resource for locating dog parks around the city. Hey Walkies helps owners find parks for their dogs to play in wherever they may be in NYC. Hey Walkies also taps into Facebook, bringing the world’s largest social network to the people and pups that use our site.My quick take: Woof, woof, woofie, woof.