Knight News Challenge

(Max Galka) #1

Anybody else submit an entry to the Knight News Challenge?

For anyone who hasn’t, the submission period is over, but it’s still worth checking out… Some great ideas, many relating to NYC. This one is awesome.

Mine is FOIA Mapper. If you have any thoughts for how I can improve it, please let me know.


(Noel Hidalgo) #2

@MaxGalka agreed, the para transit app is pretty fly.

Over at HQ, we proposed the NYC Civic Innovation Fellowship. We too would like feedback on how to improve our proposal.

If you have a Knight Challenge proposal, share it on this thread and let’s get our community to rise all of our boats.


(Andrew Nicklin) #3

I did, though they aren’t explicitly NYC-related. Would love feedback.

Civic Data Standards Hub - a living digest of civic data standards, making information published by state, local and federal governments more easily consumed.

“Powered by Data” Podcast Series - compelling podcasts about how U.S. cities are using data to improve the lives of residents through better and smarter services.


(Noel Hidalgo) #4

I found this via NYC Media Lab.

Lenses, an NYC Media Lab project with News Corp, Columbia Journalism School and NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.


(greg bloom) #5

I submitted Open Referral, with a non-specific shoutout to a prospective NYC pilot project. Happy to answer any questions about it. Meanwhile: heart us, y’all!


(Joel Natividad) #6

We submitted CivicDashboards. It seems there are a lot of submissions from the BetaNYC community! Please heart us too!

On a side note, at the CfA Summit, had a hallway discussion with some Europe-based #civictech folks. Though they have a lot of government support for #opendata there, their main complaint is that there are not too many foundations/billionaires funding civictech projects in the EU, and the #opendata projects awarded there often go to NGOs and academia as a result (thus all the academically-oriented Semantic Web, Linked Open Data projects coming out of the EU).

On the flip side, it seems govt support for civictech/govtech is not as robust here in the US.

It seems that a lot of folks are chasing after the same funding organizations (1,207 NewsChallenge entries for instance).

I just wish govt can also earmark and set-aside more funds to support govtech/civictech innovation - experiments like NYCBigApps is a great start, but I think there are better sustainable, funding mechanisms for it.

I look at programs at the federal level like the SBIR program, where agencies set aside 3% of their R&D budget for small businesses & startups.

Per Wikipedia, the SBIR program awarded $2.5B last year, with $1B for DoD related projects. Over half the awards from the DoD are to firms with fewer than 25 people and a third to firms of fewer than 10. A fifth are minority or women-owned businesses. Historically a quarter of the companies receiving grants are receiving them for the first-time.

Could something like that be done at the local level? Could municipalities pool their resources and support an SBIR for Cities?

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(Alexanderhughes) #7

I submitted my project OurGov: Our Government, Our Experience! It’s a web app for people to look up and rate & review government entities, agencies, and services.

It also lets the user navigate through the hierarchy of agencies to the elected official that is ultimately responsible.

It needs a lot of front end work! I need some funding so that I can focus on it and pay the people that are and can help me.

@MaxGalka I submitted a lot of FOIL requests for this project to get the data I’m looking for (a lot of which should already be public but isn’t, or isn’t related to the other data points I need), and I think FOIA Mapper is an awesome project! The FOIL process is kind of a disaster. Would love to chat about it.


(Marianne) #8

I submitted Exversion’s crowd sourcing data tool. It would be nice to get some funding specifically for it :smiley:


(Thomas Lowenhaupt) #9

We submitted a proposal called Pulse: Making The Invisible Visible that envisions making DNS requests made for sites within the .nyc domain visible, see

While an API and other tech issues make it somewhat challenging, the big policy question deals with privacy. It would be great to hear some views on this.


Tom Lowenhaupt


(Noel Hidalgo) #10

@TomLowenhaupt @mbellotti @alexanderhughes @jqnatividad @bloom @MaxGalka @technickle did anyone make it to the next level?

BetaNYC’s proposal did not.


(Andrew Nicklin) #11

Nope, mine didn’t. :frowning:

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(Alexanderhughes) #12

Nope :frowning:

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(Joel Natividad) #13

Nope :frowning:

But glad that projects like Broadcasting Behavior Change by @jkeefe, and Lumen by Karissa McKelvey, et. al. (of the Dat project) including @talos made the cut.

Hope they make it to the finals!


(Marianne) #14

No, but a project very similar to the one I proposed did make it through. So I think it was just a matter of one project being further along then the other.


(Joel Natividad) #15

Maybe in the next round, we should all combine forces. :wink:

A previous grantee tells me the people behind the projects count as much if not more than the project being pitched.


(John Krauss) #16

I pitched in a little with editing and visioning on Lumen, excited to see it has made it to the next round!


(Debra Anderson) #17

Great projects all around!

I also submitted a project, didn’t make it through.

I’m interested to collaborate on future applications … BTW (Prototype Fund application open until November 16 2015


(Thomas Lowenhaupt) #18

Sorry, didn’t see this til now. But we received a get lost response.



(Noel Hidalgo) #19

@MaxGalka congrats on your win!

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(Max Galka) #20

Just saw this. Thanks Noel!