The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jul 24, 2012

Just a few days left - apply now to the Civic Data Challenge

Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Excited about civic data? Don't miss an opportunity to win prizes and money for your ideas to make it understandable and useful.

The Civic Data Challenge, sponsored by Knight Foundation and presented by the National Conference on Citizenship, is looking to turn existing civic health and community attachment data into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations to help build stronger communities. The deadline to apply to the challenge is 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday July 29. Designers, data scientists, researchers and app developers are especially encouraged to apply.

Participants who analyze and visualize data on health, safety, education and the economy will be eligible for various prizes. 

To enter The Civic Data Challenge, you must first join its Google group. After joining, participants will be provided with existing civic health and community attachment data sets to analyze. After identifying connections and correlations, participants are encouraged to create visual representations and interactive products to showcase their findings. These may include infographics, apps, animations, videos, or other content.

For each category, cash prizes of up to $10,000 will be available for Best Visual Representation and Best Interactive Product. Best in Show and Wildcard Winners will be eligible to receive $5,000. An individual can submit as many entries as they like and can submit one entry in multiple categories. 

In addition to winning cash, participants have the opportunity to compete for other prizes. Kaggle, a leading platform for predictive modeling competitions, is offering one challenge winner the opportunity to expand upon its winning insights by hosting a free competitionGOOD will promote winning entries through its online platform and via social mediaDataWeek will offer a speaking opportunity for 1-2 winners to present their findings at its event in September in San Francisco, including free passes for the weeklong series of events. To find out more about the eligibility for these prizes, read the challenge's FAQ

The challenge will be judged by over a dozen leading experts from the fields of data visualization, non-profits and civic health including Craig NewmarkBeth KanterVivek Kundra and others. 

Judges will evaluate entries based on the quality of the analysis and design, the compelling nature of the finding and the usefulness of the final product.  Special consideration will be given to whether entries were collaborative (for example, did you work with other contestants or team members to improve upon your submission) and whether they incorporated data from Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community study.

Winners will be notified in mid-August and publicly announced at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship on Sept. 14 in Philadelphia.

The challenge is presented in partnership with the KaggleGOODThe Case Foundation and Code for America.

Learn more at and @CivicData

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