Crowd-sourcing and community organizing always goes down easier with a little cash incentive, as New York City has recently discovered. In a new twist to its annual BigApps challenge, which opens up data from city agencies to app developers, the city is now putting idea generation in the public’s hands. On the BigAppsIdeas page, which launched today, residents 18-and-older can suggest an NYC app they would like to see. Users can then vote on the suggestion. The ten most popular ideas are eligible for a $250 prize and the top 25 are eligible for $100. Sure, the money is nominal, but the chance to get that magic app you always thought would transform life in New York built has already inspired 18 people to write in with suggestions. So far an Will T.’s idea for an “NYC app that has a visual, color-coded map of all street parking rules, regulations and street cleaning schedules” is in the lead with five votes.
Some suggestions, like Robert L.’s idea for a visualization app “that allows me to ‘see down through the streets’ down to the subway below our feet” sounds awesome, if implausible to create. But what’s with all the G-rated suggestions? No one wants an app that hacks ATMs to spit out twenties? Or even a rat reporter photo submission app? C’mon people, let’s get creative.