Live Android topped Black Duck’s 2nd annual “Rookies of the Year” list, which recognizes those open-source projects started in 2009 that are drawing the most attention.

Based on the Google Android operating system, the cutting-edge project was started for those interested in checking out the system, but not so interested enough in buying a T-Mobile G1, G2 or G3 to do so. Live Android allows the user to run Android on a PC without affecting any files.

While a mobile open-source project topped the list, the others reflected hot trends in gaming, cloud computing and healthcare. Open Health Natural Language Processing, developed by IBM and the Mayo Clinic, came in second with their project to give medical clinicians and researchers access to unstructured textual documents.

“It’s about pushing the envelope and showing the spectrum of things,” said Eran Strod, Black Duck’s director of product marketing. This list reflects the areas upon which people are placing value now, he added.

Black Duck, a Waltham, Mass.-based company, created a point system based on three basic guidelines: the number of releases in a project, the number of developers involved, and the number of websites linked to the project. The criteria show “good signs,” Strod said, and are used to gauge which projects have “gotten notice and are valuable enough that people are pointing to it.”

To find these projects, Black Duck spiders the Internet for open-source code and adds what it has found to its repository of more than 230,000 open-source projects from more than 4,500 unique websites.

Although the “rookie” list is mainly done for fun, it also shows the innovation and buzz around open-source software. Black Duck chose from 19,000 projects in 2009, up from 17,000 in 2008. Developers last year also averaged 52 new projects a day, up from 47 a day in 2008.

The Black Duck Rookies of the Year for 2009: