NYC launches second round of BigApps civic apps contest

Late in 2009, New York City launched BigApps, a contest for developers to create civic applications for mobile and online. Today, Mayor Bloomberg announced that BigApps is online for round 2. For the second round the city has doubled the number of datasets available to developers and the winning application will receive $20,000 in cash prizes. Program details will be unveiled tonight at the NY Tech Meetup.

The datasets available for BigApps will be listed on DataMine, the city’s data repository. The New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications coordinated with over 40 City agencies and commissions to provide the datasets, with 15 new City agencies, including the Campaign Finance Board, participating in Data Mine for the first time. New data on public safety, the City budget, complaints to the Department of Buildings, and real-time traffic information will all be available for download today at

The cash competition will be open to individuals, and companies and non-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees; larger companies can participate but will not be eligible for cash prizes. Fourteen winners will be chosen in total, including two new prizes – best application created by a high school, college or full-time graduate school student; and a Large Organization Recognition Award for organizations with 50 or more employees, which will not eligible for a cash prize. All submissions are due on January 12, 2011. The Popular Choice Application winners will be selected by public vote through between January 26 and February 26. Winners will be selected and announced at an awards ceremony to be held in March.

Last year’s winners included: Taxihack – an application that allows users to post live comments on New York City taxis and their drivers via email ( or Twitter (@taxihack); Big Apple Ed – an education application that provide residents with an easy-to-use guide to schools in the City, including school searches, top ten lists, analyses, comparison charts, and detailed school profiles; and NYC Way – an iPhone application that bundles more than 30 New York City resources and provides information sorted by the user’s current location.

“NYC BigApps combines two of our Administration’s important priorities: making civic information more readily available to New Yorkers and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The inaugural NYC BigApps competition yielded an array of creative uses for City data, and – with nearly twice as much data formatted for application use this year – there are even more possibilities with version 2.0.”

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