If digital can make it in NYC, well, you know the rest. Whatever you may think of New York City, those in charge want you to think digital. In its Roadmap for the Digital City, authors note that upwards of 25 million people engage digitally with NYC each year. This is all possible because the city’s government granted access to a multitude of public records in an effort to help app developers and others create convenient ways for the public to interact with the city. Digital tools are already available to help find parking spaces, allow tours of favored attractions and connect residents to services. But they want more. The people want free, citywide access to Wi-Fi. They want charging stations in the backseats of taxis. They want real time traffic updates. And the city would like to make this happen with its numerous digital initiatives.
And now the question is: Can digital make it anywhere? Can it come to every governing body and every corporate entity? Such answers aren’t known but it is said that if it can be imagined, it is possible. And judging by what was imagined in NYC, a lot is possible. The health department dreamed up the NYC Condom Finder for iPhone app. Safe sex via an app. Who would have guessed? The You the Man app is all about avoiding drunk driving with monitoring blood alcohol and finding cabs. The Daily Pothole is on Tumblr. Okay, so there are also mundane apps for directories, restaurants and museums, but those are somewhat inside the box.
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