NYS Play in the Parks App Contest

For NYU Community

The NYS Play in the Parks App contest is a joint venture between New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer/Office for Technology and Polytechnic Institute of NYU.


New York State is looking to you to help us develop a creative, useful mobile application that helps this highly active and mobile audience discover all the beauty and opportunities the New York State Parks system has to offer whether they are at home or on the go.

Each year, over 56 million people from around the world enjoy the beauty and rich history of New York’s 178 state parks and 36 historic sites. Today, more people are replacing their traditional desktop computers with highly mobile net books and smart phones. Accessing even basic information about the parks such as park locations, hours of operation, park amenities, and events on these devices can be a tedious task.

Your Mission

Create a proposal for a web based or mobile device application that satisfies the following criteria:

  • Uses at least 1 publically available data set provided by the state of New York

The proposal must answer the following questions:

  • What data set(s) are used in this application? (Organization, name of the data set, and url)
  • What barriers did you encounter when using the data set(s)
  • Who is the target audience for this application and what need(s) does it address?
  • How will your application refresh the data set as updated? (ensures end users always have current data available)

Your Reward

Grand Prize Winner (1 winner)

  • $2,000 scholarship to NYU-Poly
  • Eligibility for a 4-6 week internship with the NYS Office of the Chief Information
  • Officer/Office for Technology to develop your proposed idea

Runners Up (2 winners)

  • $1,000 scholarship to NYU-Poly

Honorable Mentions (2 winners)

  • $500 scholarship to NYU-Poly

Who Can Apply

Any NYU-Poly graduate student. The proposals can also be submitted as a team.

How to Enter

  • Send your proposal to JC Bonilla at no later than 11:59pm on May 1, 2010


A panel of judges from NYU-Poly will first review the submissions for completeness and adherence to the contest requirements. They will then forward the approved submissions to a panel of judges from NYU-Poly, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the New York State Empire 2.0 Steering Committee.

 The judges will evaluate the proposals based on:

  • Usefulness to the citizens and visitors of New York State (35%)
  • Appeal of the application from a usability perspective (25%)
  • Inventive and original nature of the application (25%)
  • Satisfaction of the contest requirements (15%)

 Helpful Hints

  • Data regarding the parks can be found at
  • Describe the functionality of the app and the data sources that are used
  • Remember that you are not limited to only one data source
  • Provide mock ups of the application
  • Identify ways to potentially market the application to the end user
  • Provide a convincing argument about why your app is useful
  • Visit the PTC Writing Center for proposal-writing guidance. The PTC is offering assistance to contest participants. To make an appointment, go to JAB 373.
  • Be creative!

Fine Print


  • The NYS Play in the Parks App Contest runs from 4/1/2010 to 5/1/2010
  • The winning submissions (first, second, and third place winners) are the property of the state of New York. The Application Names are subject to change.
  • Your submission cannot contain any copyrighted material
  • All entrants are subject to enrollment verification
  • Proposals must include your first and last name, telephone #, and email address. If submitting as a team, the contact information for all of the team members must be included
  • A team can contain no more than 4 people
  • Only one proposal per person or team can be submitted