Knight News Challenge

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.

LocalWiki Mobile

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1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

A mobile application that allows residents to learn, share and collaborate with their local community no matter where they are; an immersive, editable map of what’s around you; and the world’s first mobile wiki editor that lets you spontaneously collaborate with your neighbors using rich text, photos, and maps.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]

We will completely rethink the mobile contribution process, creating something that anyone can contribute to — in the moment, and in the place where it’s happening.  We will develop an easy to use, real-time map editing interface that takes advantage of modern location functionality and the abundant implicit cues provided by sensors and cameras, allowing people to effortlessly map favorite parks, walking trails, historical districts — anything in their community.

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]

Just as we have made it easy for anyone with a computer to edit LocalWiki, we will enable anyone with a mobile device to discover and contribute to a shared local knowledge commons, turning a spare minute while waiting in line to buy coffee into an opportunity to learn about a city council member and going for a jog a chance to map a local greenway.

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.

1. Via search engines, social networks, word of mouth, partner organizations, and viral, mobile-specific sharing functionality.

2. Through discovery or interaction with a new or existing LocalWiki project, which collectively reach hundreds of thousands of individuals a week.

3. Direct, on-the-ground outreach in a set of mobile pilot communities.

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences]

We have connections with hundreds of communities throughout the world through our network of LocalWiki projects, which we will radically expand under this program.  We will work with new and existing partners such as Code for America, Wikimedia Foundation, OpenPlans, the OpenStreetMap community, public libraries, and mobile development experts.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]

The LocalWiki software, community and growing movement spanning 9 countries, 7 languages, and reaching hundreds of thousands of individuals every week will serve as the basis for our initial work. A number of mobile applications are being created by volunteers and companies using the already built LocalWiki API (e.g., a local history tour app; RGreenway, a guide to city greenways

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]

We aim to create an environment where mobile users can be first-class contributors to a shared, local knowledge commons, not relegated to passive consumption.  To allow anyone with a mobile device to tap into their local community’s history, knowledge and lore.

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]

We need finances for software development work, outreach efforts, and hosting over an 18 month period.

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:
Mike Ivanov (co-founder, LocalWiki, DavisWiki), Philip Neustrom (co-founder, LocalWiki, DavisWiki), LocalWiki team and global network of volunteers
Expected number of months to complete project:
Estimated Project Cost:
Philip Neustrom
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]:
San Francisco
United States
How did you learn about the contest?
Knight Foundation communications

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    To be honest, DavisWiki was one of the reasons why going to UC Davis was so appealing to me. Having so much information...
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