Who is my landlord?
What are the politics of that restaurant?
When is the best time to catch a cab?
Where are the roaches?
Why do you call part of Chinatown the Lower East Side?
How can I be Pac-Man?!
These questions are answered by the apps cranked out overnight this past weekend at The Great Urban Hack NYC. The mission for the 80 or so journalists and developers there was to design, report on, code and create projects to help New Yorkers get the information they need while strengthening a sense of community. It was open to themes around news, politics, government information, arts, culture or education — pretty much any journalism or technology project (going as far buying views on YouTube related topics) that might help residents connect to each other or the city.
It was a cumulation of months of discussion between Hacks/Hackers NYC and the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. The sponsorship came from Aol, WNYC Radio, the Knight News Challenge, and Google, all of which helped pay for the fantastic food (Don Giovanni pizza, Kati rolls and Rickshaw Dumplings) and gallons of coffee that kept everyone running. Or at least sitting. Extra power provided via Function Drinks and Wifi by Meraki. Plus we had speakers from StreetEasy, SeeClickFix, Bit.ly, Chartbeat, government agencies and NYC’s Big Apps contest talk about their APIs and other offerings. (Full disclosure: I work at WNYC.)