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New Work: NYC BigApps

Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2009 to spotlight New York as a global hub for technology and creativity, NYC BigApps is an annual competition that invites software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications that address major issues facing New York City residents, using official city data made accessible through the NYC Open Data initiative. The competition is co-sponsored by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and is powered by CollabFinder, an online platform that allows users to post project ideas and team up to build apps. In its first three editions, BigApps has helped create nearly 240 useful apps, including WayFinder NYC, Taxihack, Sportaneous, and Parking Finder.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Jesse Reed have designed a new identity for BigApps, introduced with this year’s competition. The name “BigApps” is a play on “Big Apple,” and the new identity suggests the form and colors of an apple, as well as a pie chart, emphasizing the competition’s roots in information.

Participants in this year’s BigApps competition will have access to more data than ever to develop their apps: over 1,000 raw data sets are available from more than 60 city agencies, and for the first time, entrants will also be able to incorporate approved Federal, State and private sector data sets. The new identity spotlights the role of data in the competition. The pie-chart logo can be adapted to show real information, as in the poster from the print campaign announcing the contest. The circular form also suggests the loading or updating of an app or browser.

The BigApps competition is open to individual developers, as well as companies and non-profits with fewer than 25 employees. A jury of business leaders in technology and media will select eight winning apps, including one grand prize winner; in addition to earning the gratitude of newly apped New Yorkers, winners will share in cash prizes totaling $150,000 and join the Founders’ Network, a business incubator that will help the winning developers launch companies around their apps.

BigApps opened last week and runs through June 7. Start building your app here.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge; Jesse Reed, designer.