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BigApps: Build a Better Gotham [UPDATED]

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 6 2009

The New York Times stole the best headline for this post, "New York City Wants You to Create an App For That." Sigh. Anyho, the Big Apple is indeed kicking off its Big Apps contest this very afternoon. The creators of the "most useful, inventive, appealing, effective, and commercially viable applications" are eligible for up to $20,000 in prize monies, public adulation, and a dinner date with Mayor Mike Bloomberg. But the big questions is just how much app-powering public data the city is willing to release for the contest, and how good that data will be. We'll know much more when the city takes the wraps off of its NYC.gov Data Mine later today.

To run the nuts-and-bolts of the Big Apps challenge, the city is working with the New York City-based startup ChallengePost. As for the apps -- web, iPhone, and otherwise -- built for the contest, the city gets the right to use them for a year, but they stay the property of the developer. You can follow the Big Apps contest's progress on Twitter.

UPDATE: Behold, the brand new NYC Data Mine. One hundred and three raw data feeds and 91 geo-data files. Dive in.