Recently, NY held its first ever hackathon inside the tech workspace at General Assembly. The event was titled “Reinvent NYC.gov” and it hosted 14 development teams from across the country. The teams worked to create ideas and websites that would make it easier and more rewarding to participate with the city’s government. “Our primary focus at NYC Digital is to improve the way that government engages with the public through the use of technology,” said Rachel Sterne, the Chief Digital Officer for NY and organizer of the event.
The hackathon rewarded winners in 5 categories which were Best User Interface, Best Use of Social, Best Use of Location, Most Innovative, and Judge’s Choice. One of the best efforts came from the team that won the Best Use of Social who developed a question and answer site that focused on issues facing New York City residents, visitors and businesses. Another interesting feature that was developed was a NYC.gov-branded travel widget that pulled data from a half a billion taxi rides to determine accurate travel times throughout the city.
Rachel Sterne told the Daily News that the city has no commitment to use any of the winning designs but that they hope they will inspire them and inform the city’s decision making process.