City Data App 'NYCFacets' Wins Top Prize in Big Apps Competition

By Jill Colvin on April 18, 2012 9:03am 

MANHATTAN — An app designed to make it easier to access and navigate the reams of city data took home the grand prize at the third annual Big Apps competition Tuesday night.

This year's competition attracted 96 entries, ranging from Phoundit, a digital lost and found service, to Gwumpy, which lets users search restaurants by cuisine, Health Department grade and violations, and Scene Near Me, which alerts users when they're near classic movie locations.

The competition, which was launched three years ago, pits developers against each other to design innovative web and mobile apps using the city's open data sources, including nearly 750 raw data sets.

This year's top winning entry, NYCFacets, aims to be an "open-data mash-up portal on steroids," making it easier to access, understand and use city and private data, according to its designers, who were presented with a check for $10,000.

The second prize went to Work+, designed to help people who work from home “get out of their house and into their community by finding places nearby that are good for working” with things like coffee, quiet and reliable WiFi.

There were also a series of smaller prizes for categories including "Best Green Application" and "Best Education Application," as well as popular choice awards.

"New York City is home to the most creative people, the most talented engineers, and the fastest growing technology community," said Mayor Bloomberg, who has been pushing to develop the city as a major tech hub, and was on hand for the ceremony.

The judging panel included reps from companiesincluding New York Tech Meetup, Next Jump, Foursquare and Union Square Ventures.

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