UPDATE: Watch the winners present their projects via web stream at 1 p.m. PDT/ 4 p.m. EDT Saturday Sept. 22 here.
Today we’re excited to share with you the winners of the Knight News Challenge: Data.
First, some background: We ran the contest for three weeks,
ending June 20. And we sought ideas to help make the large amounts of data we’re creating more useful and informative. We received 881 applications, which we reviewed with the help of a group of advisers. We identified 50 proposals to discuss further, and in July we brought to Miami a group of reviewers to advise us. We listened to their advice, had internal conversations, and conducted interviews and due diligence with 15 applicants.
As we announce the below winners, we’re in the midst of reviewing applications for the News Challenge: Mobile, and later this fall we’ll begin planning our first News Challenge of 2013, on tools for open government.
Knight News Challenge: Data Winners (Full project lead bios are here)
Winner: Joe Germuska, Chicago; John Keefe, New York; Ryan Pitts, Spokane, Wash.
Despite the high value of Census data, the U.S. Census Bureau’s tools for exploring the data are difficult to use. A group of news developers built Census.IRE.org for the 2010 Census to help journalists more easily access Census data. Following early positive feedback, the team will expand and simplify the tool, and add new data sets including the annual American Community Survey, which informs decisions on how more than $400 billion in government funding is distributed.
Winners: Amplify Labs, Alicia Rouault, Prashant Singh and Matt Hampel, Detroit, Mich.
Whether tracking crime trends, cataloging real estate development or assessing parks and play spaces, communities gather millions of pieces of data each year. Such data are often collected haphazardly on paper forms or with hard-to-use digital tools, limiting their value. LocalData is a set of tools that helps community groups and city residents gather and organize information by designing simple surveys, seamlessly collecting it on paper or smartphone and exporting or visualizing it through an easy-to-use dashboard. Founded by Code for America fellows, the tools have already been tested in Detroit, where they helped document urban blight by tracking the condition of thousands of lots.