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CHIPS Articles: NGA challenge offers up to $200K for disparate data solutions

NGA challenge offers up to $200K for disparate data solutions
By NGA News - September 6, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Va. – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is offering up to $200,000 in prizes for solutions to the agency’s disparate data challenges via, a technical hub for federal incentive prize and challenge competitions.

This goal of this competition is unified access to data that is distinct in its formats, schemas, interfaces and locations, so that it may be available for search, business metrics and data and information analytics.

This is a direct result of the task to create “coherence from chaos” that NGA Director Robert Cardillo issued at this year’s GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

“We must have tools and techniques to allow us to quickly make sense of big data then visualize and disseminate that clarity to our customers,” said Cardillo. “We don’t just need pixels. Offer us subscriptions that will provide us alerts, observations and insights that we’ll meld with our own to drive deeper analysis of all that incoming data and lead to more meaningful conclusions.”

The first stage of the competition will award fifteen cash prizes of $10,000 each to solutions that successfully implement functioning code that can access and retrieve either part or all of the provided representative datasets.

“We’re not just looking for white papers, but working code,” said Air Force Col. Marc DiPaolo, chief of mainstreaming capabilities in NGA’s Enterprise Innovation Office.

Award winners from the first stage will progress to the second part of the competition, a “Dem-o-thon” in the Washington, D.C. area, where a panel of NGA judges will test drive the winning solutions. There will be three cash prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 awarded for the first, second and third place winners, respectively.

“Geospatial intelligence is so much more than just pictures from a satellite,” said DiPaolo. “We want ideas on how to seamlessly pull together these wildly disparate data sources – everything from imagery, social media, documents, video, et cetera – to create robust products for our customers.”

This is the agency’s second competition. The first competition, which concluded this summer, sought code technical support to track changes to a story in a dynamic, fast and aesthetic way as it is being developed, creating a “living story.”

For more information on the Disparate Data Challenge, visit NGA on

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