Friday, April 1, 2011

NYC BigApps 2.0 Brings Data to the Public

Last night the winners of NYC BigApps 2.0 were announced. This fabulous initiative makes information from the NYC Data Mine available to the interested public to develop apps to help better the quality of life in New York City. Entrants compete for cash prizes, exposure, and the opportunity to meet the Mayor. The submissions were impressive—and the winners certainly deserving.

Notable apps that may interest New Yorkers include:
Mayor Bloomberg looks on as
is named Best Overall Application.
Roadify: Grand Prize, and Second Place Popular Choice
Roadify combines New York’s best commuting resources into one free service that’s with you wherever you go. Whether you’re looking for that free parking spot a neighbor just left or trying to get a better idea of when your bus or subway is showing up, Roadify’s got you covered.

Parking Finder: Third Prize, and Investor's Choice Winner
BestParking takes the hassle out of finding parking in Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn via, our iPhone app, and our Android App. Over 100,000 New Yorkers rely on BestParking each month. Student Winner Grand Prize, and Honorable Mention
Get a text message when you check into a restaurant that is at risk of being closed for health code violations.

NextStop: Honorable Mention
NextStop is an iPhone app for New York City Subway riders who don't like to waste a minute. At a quick glance, it tells you when the next train is scheduled to arrive based on your current location, selected station, or pre-defined favorites. With this information in hand, it's easy to figure out the quickest route between point A and point B.
Of course, there were many that didn't make the cut, including CitizeNYC City Pulse ("neighborhood-level views on the most pressing questions of the day") and ("Free and cheap events ... including: street fairs, parades, dances, grand openings, cultural events, parties, lectures").

Congrats to the winners, and really, all the participants. As Mayor Bloomberg told attendees, "Don't take anybody's word for anything. When they say it can't be done, and it makes sense, it probably can. And actually maybe somebody else has already done it. Just don't accept conventional wisdom." These are exciting times for innovation. There are vast opportunities to change your world—and the data to do so is at your fingertips.

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