New York City announced the winners of its second BiggApps competition tonight. BiggApps is a way to get developers to use city and government data to create useful apps for citizens and visitors to New York City. The prize money was doubled to $40,000 split up among 14 winning apps.
The first prize went to Roadify, an iPhone app that crowdsources information about public transport and parking spots. Users can give or get parking spots, realtime updates about buses and subways, or transit schedules. The parking finder is genius. It shows the spot using GPS on a map. I think everyone who has ever tried to park in New York City has dreamt of an app like this. Now someone actually built it.
Sportaneous is a geo-location app (iTunes link) for pick-up games that is tied into a database of parks, basketball courts, and other sports facilities throughout the city. You can see proposed games near you, sign up for one, and then get notified when the minimum number of players have been reached. And, of course, there are game mechanics rewarding people who play at certain courts or soccer fields the most.
Third place went to Parking Finder, another parking app that maps out parking garages and metered parking spots throughout the city. One of my favorites, however, which won an honorable mention, is DontEat.at, a simple mashup of Foursquare and the city’s Health Department inspection results. Anytime you check into a restaurant that scores above a certain threshold for “serious and persistent violations,” you will get a text message warning you, “Don’t Eat at” that restaurant. Another clever one is Who Is My Landlord?