Data Challenge Winners Tell The Stories Within Civic Data

September 20, 2012 Paul M. Davis

Despite the increasing number of cities embracing open data policies and the popularity of visualizations, communicating the stories found in all that data remains a challenge. Journalists, developers, and advocacy groups alike contend with a wealth of civic data, but often lack the technical skills or the storytelling acumen to reap its potential social benefits. As detailed at Fast Co.Exist, the Knight Foundation has been collecting data from surveys and research for years to determine the “civic health” of cities. The Knight Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting innovative journalism, community engagement, and the arts, has released this raw data as part of its Civic Data Challenge. The Challenge called upon developers and data divers to delve into the wealth of civic, community, health, safety, education, and economic information to invent creative and effective ways of communicating that data.

Politify image via Fast Co.Exist.

The winning projects announced this week, each of which receives a $10,000 prize, include Politify, a web app that allows citizens to find out how the policies of the Presidential candidates will effect their lives and communities; WhyGDP?, an interactive presentation on whether Gross Domestic Product is a useful metric of civic health; The Art of Community Wellness, a video that uses data-driven insights to make the civic case for arts funding; and OpenBlock, a hyper-local news platform that pairs the economic data of communities with geo-located photos of the neighborhoods, sourced from the web. Learn more about the projects and the runners-up at the Civic Data Challenge site and Fast Co.Exist.

The Art of Community Wellness from ArtsEducation+Wellness on Vimeo.

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