Create the next “killer” app to unleash the potential of Earth observation data and win cash prizes.Beginning May 7, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is holding the first-ever GEO Appathon, a competition for students, scientists, coders, and just plain data junkies yearning to use information from one of the world’s largest Earth observation portals to create a “killer” app (and win cash prizes in the process).
“The GEO Appathon is a global applications development competition that aims to develop new, exciting and – most importantly – useful Apps using Earth observation data from the open and expansive Earth Observation data sets in the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI),” Barbara Ryan, director of the GEO Secretariat, said in announcing the competition.
The Appathon kicks off with a live (and Web-streamed) event in Geneva, Switzerland (where GEO is headquartered) and runs through Aug. 31. The competition is open to any non-commercial entity, individual, or team in any country. All entries will be judged, with the top three winners receiving a year-long GEO endorsement and publicity for their apps – along with cash prizes.
Guidelines for the competition are straightforward. Apps must integrate data from the massive GEOSS Portal and points will be awarded based on the number of data sets used. Entrants also can use the GEO Discovery and Access Broker (DAB) to integrate “discovery tools” directly into the app. Judges will be looking primarily at how useful the app is to its intended audience. All apps must fit into at least one of GEO’s societal benefits areas: Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate, Disasters, Ecosystems, Energy, Health, Water or Weather.
Katherine Canipelli, of the consulting firm Space Bridges & Science Bridges (S2B), writes that the GEO event has “the potential for a ‘big bang’ outcome.”
“The GEO Appathon benefits formula is pretty simple,” according to Canipelli. “Big Data + Open Access = Innovation + Economic Value.”
You can learn more about the event or register for it on the GEO Appathon Website.