[caption id="attachment_39319" align="alignright" width="208" caption="A Map of Key to the City\'s Locks"]
[/caption]Artist Paul Ramirez Jonas has a terrific idea to help people explore New York, and he's using the iPhone to publicize his efforts. His "Key to the City" project, kicked off several days ago, brings NYC's key to the city ceremonies, traditionally only available to dignitaries or celebrities, to the average joe.
The project is centered around a series of locks at famous landmarks around New York, with several in each of the city's five boroughs. In Manhattan, for example, keys can be found at Gracie Mansion or in Bryant Park. Specific instructions are provided for participants to get to the locks.
Perhaps more entertaining however, is how keys themselves are obtained. The artist has maintained the somewhat humanitarian concept of a key to the city by requiring people to show up with a friend or relative that they are recognizing with a key. The keys are thus given out as recognition for a job well done - maybe for a recent success or, even better, for humanitarian activity.
The companion iPhone application is one of Apple's featured iPhone apps, and for good reason. The app, which does little more than get people involved with the project and point them in the direction of keys, is a catalyst for further participation in a smartly designed and good hearted attempt at getting New Yorkers to explore their city.