DigitalGlobe and USGIF cosponsor Hackathon to crowdsource geospatial analytics

Tony Frazier Bio PhotoCrowdsourcing is an emerging pattern that is changing how we tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems. DigitalGlobe’s recent experience supporting response to the earthquakes in Nepal demonstrates the power of bringing together diverse groups of people to contribute to a common goal. Within 24 hours, thousands of volunteers analyzed more than 20,000 square kilometers of imagery to support search and rescue efforts, and by the end of the campaign 58,000 volunteers had identified 21,000 damaged buildings and roads and tents housing displaced people.

DigitalGlobe believes extending our crowdsourcing paradigm beyond crisis mapping to big data analytics is essential to achieving our purpose of Seeing a better world™.  To this end, we are pleased to announce DigitalGlobe has partnered with the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) to co-sponsor the first ever GEOINT-focused Hackathon, to be held June 12-14, 2015, at the DigitalGlobe office in Herndon, Va.

Our Geospatial Big Data strategy is focused on making it easy for a growing ecosystem of partners to enrich and analyze DigitalGlobe imagery and a wide variety of other sources of GEOINT. Our efforts to open source MrGeo are part of this pattern, as are the recent announcements of our Geospatial Big Data partnership with Exelis and our Vricon joint venture with Saab. We work closely with business partners like Cloudera and Amazon to make it easy for developers, data scientists, and analysts to apply their expertise to spatial information.

For the GEOINT Hackathon, we seek developers, data scientists, and analysts willing to apply their expertise to DigitalGlobe Geospatial Big Data to create open-source solutions to solve real-world problems. GEOINT Hackathon participants will be challenged to create an open-source solution within a roughly 40-hour timeframe. The geography of interest and specific hack goal will be announced Friday evening during the 6 p.m. kickoff briefing, and the event will conclude Sunday afternoon.

All collaboration-centric coders are encouraged to sign up. The winning team will be awarded $15,000 and receive free passes to attend GEOINT Foreword and the GEOINT 2015 Symposium, June 22-25, in Washington, D.C., where they will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with leaders from industry, government, and academia.

I am excited to represent DigitalGlobe as a GEOINT Hackathon judge. Our company will make DigitalGlobe imagery, human geography, elevation data, geospatial social media, and OpenStreetMap features available via a set of open APIs. At the event, we will share examples of Geospatial Big Data Analytic Apps developed by DigitalGlobe. But more importantly, we are excited to see what you can do!

There is no cost to register for the GEOINT Hackathon and the contest is capped at 150 participants. To sign up, visit connect.usgif.org, create an account, and select “Upcoming Events” from the sidebar menu. The “USGIF Hackathon” is listed at the bottom of the page. Full details are available here.

This is your chance to test new ideas, showcase your coding skills, meet individuals who share the same interests, and be part of an event that will help shape how future geospatial solutions are developed. So register today, and we’ll see you in Herndon June 12!

Tony Frazier is DigitalGlobe’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Government Solutions.