Winners of Play in the Parks App Contest

The New York State Chief Information Officer and Office for Technology (CIO/OFT), the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) have announced the winners of the NYS Play in the Parks App Contest.

The NYS Play in the Parks App Contest was an application development contest for graduate students at the NYU-Poly announced in April. Graduate students of NYU-Poly were challenged to create a web-based or mobile application proposal to help citizens discover the beauty and history of the New York State park system.

A panel of judges from the New York State Empire 2.0 Committee, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and NYU-Poly selected Yigit Kiran’s project proposal “Park Wise” as the grand prize winner. Mr. Kiran will receive a $2,000 scholarship provided by NYU-Poly and will develop his proposal as part of an unpaid internship at CIO/OFT. Mr. Kiran is a computer science student from Istanbul, Turkey.

“Park Wise” is aimed at helping users obtain information on what they see as they travel through parks by using the newest technological trends in human computer interaction. “Park Wise” will be developed as a mobile application to assist visitors of New York State parks. Individuals using the application can learn about the unique and historic sites in New York parks by pointing the camera of their mobile device at a key point of interest. For example, if users point a camera at the Helderberg Escarpment located in Thatcher State Park in Albany, they would learn it is one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world.

In addition, “Park Wise” will feature a navigation application. While wandering the parks, “Park Wise” will allow users to see their current location and where they are headed. “Park Wise” users will also have the ability to take photos of their experiences and share them on Facebook, comment on key points of interest, and read other users comments.

Two proposals were also selected as second place winners and each team will receive a $1,000 scholarship to NYU-Poly. The second place team winners were Kunjan Sanghvi, Nisarg Shah and Yogesh Trivedi- and a team comprised of Marvin Charles and Ram Kumar. Honorable Mentions in the contest were awarded to Avinash Vutukuri and Barn Durukan, who will each receive a $500 scholarship to further their educational goals.

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