Voting Begins for New York City's BigApps 2.0

Justin Houk
Feb. 11 2011, 12:00AM EST

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced the opening of public voting for the NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition. The big apple has wasted no time in following last year's successful competition with 350 datasets from over 40 agencies. From the looks of the apps, the NYC tech community is already fired up about the competition.

The NYC BigApps 2.0 competition might be one of the first "second generation" apps contests. Having learned from the first BigApps contest New Yorkers seem to be seeing that application contests help stimulate more benefits than just free apps. “We expect that the talented developers and programmers behind these applications will continue to play a significant role in the growth of the City’s high-tech workforce in the months and years to come,” said NYEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. A visit to the BigApps site gives the impression that enhancing and connecting the NYC developer community is a key element. App contests help people meet, mix, and develop relationships that lead to good things in the long run.

The apps themselves are still a big part of the competition. With over 160 more datasets than the first contest at their fingertips, developers have come up with some great new apps. Here are a couple of Interesting entries from the many showcased in the application gallery:

SubwayArrival is an iPhone app that's aimed at helping those traveling the New york subway by tracking trains in real-time. The app works through crowd-sourced location data provided by users and relies on people emerging from the subway to get around the lack of signal underground. Once a critical mass of users is reached the app could provide free data to travelers and the MTA during peak hours when it's needed most.

The NYC Data Mobile Application Framework might not sound that interesting to the general population but is a treasure to prospective mobile developers. The framework lowers the barriers for mobile app creation by allowing developers to code once and deploy on many device platforms. The submitted example also demonstrates how to make use of contest datasets for display and query. Helper apps, middleware, and frameworks such as this one are important for apps contests. They can aid enthusiastic coders working a day job or attending classes in actually getting something into the contest.

There are plenty more apps where these came from so head over to the BigApps 2.0 Gallery and vote for your favorites.

Justin Houk

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