The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.
Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.
Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.
Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
Our project will combine advanced statistics with geospatial visualization to create a crime early warning system for both reporters and the public.
The apps will leverage publicly available crime data to create dynamic visualizations of geographically specific crime activity that mobile device users can learn about on the go. Rather than simply mapping crime locations, we will use spatial statistics to mine crime databases for changes in geographic patterns based on mobile device location or area of interest.
Public users will view the alerts on smart phones to learn about statistically significant changes in crime near them, and journalists will use broader, tablet-based visualization tools to track stories related to crime news.
Azavea, the lead organization, is an award-winning, Philadelphia-based geographic analysis and software development firm with substantial expertise developing open source geospatial software tools and over ten years of experience working with law enforcement agencies and crime data at the local, state and national levels. The firm will partner with The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the country’s largest newspapers which ranks 6th nationally for mobile with 1.7 million users, to develop and test the tablet app for journalists using Philadelphia crime data, and will also develop and test a smart phone app for the general public using Chicago crime data.
Using grant funding from the National Science Foundation, Azavea has already developed HunchLab (http://azavea.com/products/hunchlab/), a web-based crime analysis and alerting tool for law enforcement agencies that is built on an open, documented API and includes preliminary design work for a smart phone app. A data transfer utility has been completed for integrating the Chicago crime data feed, and Azavea has assembled 15 years of geocoded crime incident and arrest data from the Philadelphia Police Department, a database of 30 million records.
The proposed project will leverage the crime data mining and analysis skills of a private geospatial software engineering firm, coupled with the reporting skills and crime data expertise of a major news media organization, to create real-time crime mapping and news gathering tools for smart phone and tablet devices that will support local knowledge and data-driven journalism. License and implementation services revenue from future HunchLab engagements will be combined with services required to set up the HunchLab database and API to support continued development of the new open source mobile tools aimed at journalists and the public.
Azavea has a unique combination of staff, experience, data, and software engineering skills to implement the project in Philadelphia and Chicago, and distribute, support, and replicate it in future locations around the country. Funding from the Knight Foundation will enable us to design, build and test replicable, open source mobile apps that can be configured for use with real-time crime data feeds in any location where they are available, and to make the software code freely available for use by others through an open source code repository.
Please list who is on your team: Azavea, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Expected number of months to complete project: 18 to 24 months
Estimated Project Cost: $325,000
Name: Robert Cheetham
Email address: email@example.com
Organization [if applicable]: Azavea
City: Philadelphia, PA
How did you learn about the contest? E-mail notification from the Knight Foundation