Bureau of Reclamation Launches Prize Competition Seeking Ways to Improve Data Visualization for Colorado River Basin

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A new prize competition is being launched by the Bureau of Reclamation seeking innovative, interactive, and user-driven ways to display data that supports management of the Colorado River Basin.

The Colorado River just upstream of the Lees Ferry boat launch.

The Colorado River just upstream of the Lees Ferry boat launch.

Think about your daily weather forecast. Most people see a colorful map with temperatures. But, underneath that map is really lots and lots of data.

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize competition seeking innovative, interactive, and user-driven ways to display data that supports management of the Colorado River Basin. Visualizations improve data exploration, analysis, interpretation, and communication.

Reclamation's Hydraulic Engineer Jon Rocha works on methods of presenting complex data in a user-friendly way. "Think about your daily weather forecast. Most people see a colorful map with temperatures," Rocha said. "But, underneath that map is really lots and lots of data."

Reclamation is making a total prize purse of $60,000 available, to be divided among the winners. A maximum single award for this competition is $20,000 with no prizes below $5,000 being provided for fully successful solutions. No cash prizes are guaranteed unless they meet or exceed the Solution Requirements. Partial cash prizes will be considered for solutions that meet some, but not all, of the requirements.

Successful solutions will include one or more of the following elements:

  • Integrated visualization of multiple relevant CRB data types and/or ancillary information. This may include mashups of data from Reclamation and other sources, combination of multiple data types, and/or integration of data with ancillary information.
  • User-customizable visualization of data and/or ancillary information. This may include user-driven selection of data parameters, time periods, or geographical range, or configuration of visualization layout or content to meet user needs and preferences.
  • Interactive visualization of data and/or ancillary information. This may include zooming or panning around a visualization, drilling down into data, clicking through animations, inputting information, and/or responding to queries or requests from the visualization.

Reclamation is collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission.

Learn more by visiting https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/datavis.html.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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