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Challenges from USGS, Association of American Geographers, and Virginia

2013 January 24

Here are three challenges that may interest developers. We’ll keep an eye out for green apps that result from the challenges.

USGS Challenge: App-lifying and Enhancing USGS Earth Science Data

USGS (United States Geological Survey) scientists are looking for your help in addressing some of today’s most perplexing scientific challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Through the platform, the USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS) is inviting the Nation’s premier application developers and data visualization specialists to create new applications centered on CSAS datasets.

Submissions will be judged on their relevance to today’s scientific challenges, innovative use of the datasets, and overall ease of use of the application, with prizes awarded in several categories. Submissions are due by April 1, 2013. To learn more, visit

Robert Raskin Mashup Mapping Competition

Here’s a Dynamic Web Map Design Competition sponsored by Association of American Geographers Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group. Hosted by San Diego State University and the AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group (CISG).

It’s open to all full time college students and the goals are to promote research and awareness of web-based GIS and Mashup applications, encourage spatial thinking and the development of geospatial cyberinfrastructure in colleges and universities in the United States, and to inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and web map representation for students and the broader public. The deadline is February 11, 2013. See the details at

Apps4VA: Design an app about the impact of education

The Apps4VA program challenges the public to develop apps that will use or analyze educational information to make a great app that helps understand the nature or impact of educational reach and help us to plan for the future. Apps4VA supports the development and implementation of a data system, the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, that would link teachers to their students and provide educators and policymakers with aggregate data on Virginia public school students’ progress toward college and career readiness. The program is sponsored by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Two challenges are open until January 31:

Apps4VA  Open Competition.  Build an application using at least one dataset from the VLDS K-1 Data Catalog.  The Grand Prize is $5K!  Submit as many apps as you would like.

Apps4VA High School  Competitions. This competition is exclusively for Virginia high school students, who can enter an idea for a theoretical app or develop an actual working prototype to win cash for themselves and for their sponsoring schools.

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