Voting Starts Today in City's "BigApps" Contest: Restaurant Violation Apps Lead Pack

We mentioned earlier that New York is holding a BigApps competition, for which developers were granted access to public info so they could make phone and computer applications to improve city life. Starting at noon today, you'll be able to vote for the apps you like best. Winners get money and dinner with the Mayor.

Here's the place to vote and a gallery of eligible contestants. So far, the most popular category seems to be restaurant health inspections:

BigApple Reporter lets you "View Lists and Maps of Food Places to Avoid," using food inspection data from the Department of Health. So do Restaurant Inspection Results, Food Inspectr, You Are What You Eat, Restaurant Scrutinizer, SporkNYC, Eat Cleanly, and ickcity. Thanks to technology, you need never consume a mouse turd again.

Parking's also big. We see the Roadify parking app is here, as well as the similar Primo Spot, ParkShark, and something called nycSaMoSa that will help you find parking spots and laundromats, wifi zones, etc.

NYC Treasure Finder "aggragates a collection schedules for trash and recycling borough by borough," to help you find crap people threw out that you might want. Mind the bedbugs!

Want to send a picture of whatever nuisance is bugging you to the city's 311 complaint line? Snap311 offers to do it for you. (We'd be interested to hear the business model. Does 311 pay bounties?)

Walkshed "enables you to make very precise and personal walkability calculations" so you don't stray too far from coffee shops, farmers markets, etc. If it's your dog's recreation that interests you, there's Hey Walkies, which maps dog runs.

BigMapple is a social media thing that "uses data from Twitter and Flickr to show users what people are doing and saying throughout NYC." UpNext is a city search app with a twist -- it's in 3D!

The most interesting one, to us, is AntiBullyingColor -- it lets kids "stand up against bullying" by expressing their feelings about different city districts "through basic color keys," and "'Report bullying' as victims, or witnesses, via 'a panic button' that cries for help." (Wish we had one of these in grade school!)

Entrants will be judged by an all-star tech panel and winners announced in January. (Update: Though there's a taxi rating app, we see no mass transit apps. Guess MTA is still holding tight to its data.)

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