New York City government seeks data miners

Sewell Chan and Patrick McGeehan report today in the New York Times that the New York City government is out to make its piles of public data actually usable:

In what is planned to become an annual competition known as NYC Big Apps, the city will make available about 80 data sets from 32 city agencies and commissions. The winners of the competition will get a cash prize, recognition at a dinner with the mayor, and marketing opportunities.

One has to be wary of competitions: they can be a way of trying to get some work for free, or a sign that the project doesn’t have realistic funding behind it. On the other hand, it shows that the sponsor wants to tap a wider range of imagination than it would get with the usual contracting process.

Dinner with the mayor!

Hat tip: "tootie" at reddit.

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