NGA joins Challenge.gov, offers $10K prize for technical support to ‘living stories’
On June 6, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency listed its first submission to Challenge.gov, a technical hub for federal incentive prize and challenge competitions.
Challenge.gov’s listing includes technical, scientific, ideation, and creative competitions to aid the U.S. government in achieving innovative solutions for mission-centric problems using the best ideas and talent from the public.
NGA’s Living Stories challenge seeks an easy-to-use time slider or other simple mechanism to track changes to a story in a dynamic, fast and aesthetic way as it is being developed using WordPress, a popular open source web-based publishing platform.
The winning submission will be awarded a $10,000 prize. The challenge is organized by the agency’s GEOINT Pathfinder initiative, which focuses on developing open source solutions to national security issues.
With this challenge, the GEOINT Pathfinder team is looking to strike the balance between “ephemeral and evergreen content,” by building a simple, customer-facing, version-control tracker, said NGA’s public software development lead Chris Rasmussen.
“The idea is to reduce the number of headlines and products that we’re pushing out to our customers by building a very simple, visually-pleasing way to track changes in a story,” said Rasmussen. “That sets the standard that a story will always be up-to-date.”
The submission period runs June 6 to July 15 and the winner will be announced Aug. 1. Submissions will be evaluated on criteria including user experience, quality and required features.
Beyond tangible, functional code, Rasmussen hopes the agency’s involvement with Challenge.gov will help put a focus on short-term, practical goals.
“It focuses things on more immediate time horizons,” said Rasmussen. “And the delivery back to us is functional code. So we’ll have our answer and we’ll see the talent coming back in a very practical way. It focuses things much more realistically.”
Since 2010, Challenge.gov has seen more than a quarter of a million participants contributing to more than 640 competitions that awarded over $220 million in prizes.
NGA joins other intelligence community components including the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity on Challenge.gov.