Betabeat has had open government on the brain this week, so we called up Girish Chhugani, senior advisor at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT, pronounced “Do it!”) to talk about the city’s newly launched NYC Open Data initiative.
Mr. Chhugani is both the project lead for NYC Big Apps–Mayor Bloomberg just launched version 3.0 of the contest at NYTM–and the man responsible for transferring the city’s heterogeneous data sets on everything from traffic to crime to electricity consumption to school attendance into something more developer-friendly.
This morning, the NYC Digital Tumblr featured a big, bold link to NYC Open Data, advertising a catalog that “offers access to a repository of government-produced, machine-readable data sets.” Given the city’s penchant for exposing this data, we wondered if this catalog was new.
“It is new – it’s a big deal for us,” replied the city’s chief digital officer Rachel Sterne. “First time we have API- enabled data, which has long been a goal.”
In response to the announcement, entrepreneur and investor Mark Birch wrote, “The age of open sourcing government is upon us and it starts with open access to data.”
Looks like some Foursquare hackers are set to earn a few new badges. The winners from Foursquare’s recent global hackathon are a diverse bunch, with the grand prize going to Paris-based developer Benjamin Netter, who gets a brand new badge called Platformer and a dinner with dashing Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai. Mr. Netter created Plan Your Next trip, which uses the explorer API to generate a personalized two day vacation for travellers.
Other groups of hacks won glory and fame: Sqavenger, which uses historical landmarks to create a scavanger hunt that users play by text message and check-ins as well as Intersqaures, which show the intersection of your check-ins with another user.
As Dennis Crowley pointed out on Twitter yesterday, foursqaure’s robust API has allowed developers to create thousands of interesting apps that are running primarily and in some cases entirely off the services data.
We already told you about Fourcraft, which turned New York into a giant game of risk. Today it’s Foursquaropoly (tough name), which layers the basic principles of the classic board game Monopoly on top of Big Apple check-ins.
Let’s say you are a young developer with an idea for the next great photo app, a real Instagram killer. But you don’t have the resources to build out all the filters or handle the processing for your fast growing user base.
New York’s Aviary has built a suite of creative tools for digital artists, but is increasingly looking to expand its footprint among big businesses and average consumers.
Aviary rolled out the Beta of its new site today in an effort to become more of a portal for users that aren’t experienced with online editing Read More