NYC Launches App Contest for Amateur Software Developers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Looking to make New York City more convenient for both locals and tourists? There’s an app for that. Or at least there can be -- when you make it.

    NYC BigApps 2.0, the second annual city-sponsored contest for software developers, was launched on Tuesday by Deputy Mayor Robert Steel at the New York Tech Meetup, a gathering of tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The contest, whose stated goal is to make New York City “more transparent, accessible and accountable,” will give out a $20,000 grand prize to the best mobile app created that delivers data from the city to any interested user.

    The city plans to release data from over 40 different agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Education. The data will be organized in 350 different datasets, all of which can be used by the developers to create software applications. The first competition received some criticism last year for both the amount and the quality of data that was released. City agencies are not required to give over their data, and there are some hold-outs, including the NYPD.

    The winner of the first BigApps contest was called My City Way, which mixes data from the Department of Transportation, the Landmarks Preservation Committee, and the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to help city-goers find anything from city landmarks to public restrooms.

    The competition is open to individuals, non-profit organizations, and companies with fewer than 50 employees. To sign up, go to nycbigapps.com.