Lehman Community Connect, the College’s experimental community website, was one of the 37 organizations selected last month to partner with NYC BigApps 2013. BigApps is Mayor Bloomberg’s competition to ensure New York stays ahead of the innovation curve. It challenges software developers and members of the public to create web and mobile applications that address major issues facing New Yorkers. Any web developer can apply and even team up with designers, artists, scientists or writers to create an original app using official city data and selected public sector databases.
This year, program participants can now also use Lehman Community Connect datasets and tools for use in the competition. Lehman Community Connect brings together Bronx-related information about health, population, education, and urban sustainability from the census, the City’s open data site and others.
A diverse list of organizations has been approved to provide data to developers as part of the competition, including: eBay, Etsy, Foursquare, the New York Times, Human Services Council, CareerBuilder, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, Public Health Solutions, Workforce Opportunity Solutions, and Yelp, among others.
“Lehman Community Connect is part of a list of data resources approved to help participants create apps that can improve the lives of New Yorkers,” said Ron Bergmann, Lehman’s Vice President for technology and Chief Information Officer, who oversaw the launch of Lehman Connect with Acting Dean Stefan Becker of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Lehman is the only college or university approved as a data provider for the NYC BigApps 2013 competition.
This year the competition focuses on apps that target health issues, job and workplace mobility, learning opportunity, and environmental challenges. The best app in each of these categories is eligible to win a category prize and $35,000 grand prize, several non-monetary prizes, including office space, executive coaching, and mentorships. The winners will be announced in June.
Lehman was also asked to join the BigApps 2013 Expo and “Hackathon”, held at eBay, this weekend for a panel of discussions about the competition and resources available to participants.
NYC BigApps was launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2009 and has helped create about 240 new and innovative applications to address New York’s most pressing challenges.
Lehman Community Connect, at https://bronx.lehman.cuny.edu/, provides a map-based platform to find, view and interact with publicly available data and Lehman College information. The goal of the portal is to enable students, faculty, researchers and the public to participate in their community by facilitating inquiry, exploration, and the development of creative applications.