Thursday, January 7, 2010

NYC BigApps

Today marked the end of voting at NYC BigApps competition – a sort of crowdsourced and collaborative project. The project aims to have developers create applications that take advantage of NYC's DataMine.

The city is using the contest format, which is becoming more and more synonymous with crowdsourcing in some circles, to increase transparency and utilize all sorts of publicly available data sets. The more interesting apps seem to be emerging where the developers are using multiple data sets instead of say, one set of public library locations. This approach enables the data sets to collaborate with each other (and the user) in a way that can offer much more value than a Google search would. The result is hopefully a perfect example of good collaboration, a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Walkshed, an app that provides a walkable "heat map" based on your activity preferences, and Nexttown, an app that pulls data about your local elected officials and their efforts, are two entries that stand out to me as great examples of data collaboration.

The winners will be announced on February 4th, so stay tuned to see what NYC deems the most useful BigApps.

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