Something like this needs to happen here in Houston.
The BigApps competition, in which [New York City] made its data available to developers so they could make apps out of them that would be helpful to citizens, and offered prizes to the best entries, closed last night with a ceremony and the announcement of three grand prize winners, a popular favorite chosen by the public, and six honorable mentions. Some of them are available already on iTunes, and we expect the others will be soon.
The key to all this was New York making its data available so the apps creators could do their thing. I feel confident that if Houston did the same, and made sure that fact was known, our own app development community would jump on it. Even without a contest and a cash prize – though of course those things couldn’t hurt – we’d likely see some cool and useful stuff. But it all starts with making the data available, and making sure people know that it’s available.