The city has announced it will partner with AT&T, and the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool), to host the first-ever “Civic Data Hackathon: Syracuse Roads Challenge, Powered by AT&T.”
Mayor Miner, leaders of the iSchool, and representatives from AT&T kicked-off the challenge Sept. 26, officially releasing data that can be found at ischool.syr.edu/RoadsChallenge, about the current conditions of city roads, that will give participants the opportunity to create new applications, and predictive analyses that could be used to help the administration address road-quality issues.
According to officials, the “hackathon” has been designed to engage technologists, designers, and developers, as well as anyone who may be interested in using their skills.
The effort is one of the first times in the U.S. that a municipality has led a “hackathon” focused on road infrastructure.
“Syracuse is one of the first cities to engage experts in new technology to brainstorm solutions to the longstanding challenges we face,” Mayor Stephanie Miner stated. “This type of bold innovation is what is needed to tackle the infrastructure issues faced by our community. My administration has embraced new ideas and technology as methods to solve our challenges, including deploying sensors to better understand road quality, monitors giving early warnings about water main leaks, or improving citizen reporting. I am excited to see the bold ideas from these developers who will use their creativity and tech savvy to answer our longstanding questions.”
A panel of judges comprised of city officials, an AT&T representative, and a representative from the iSchool will choose the winners in the challenge.
In addition, cash prizes for first, second, and third place winners will be awarded at a ceremony in October.
“I’m proud that the iSchool will be partnering with the city of Syracuse and AT&T, by lending our expertise to the hackathon,” Elizabeth Liddy, dean of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies stated. “Our faculty and students are deeply engaged in using big data to address a wide range of issues. They will be providing participants with guidance on evaluating and working with the city’s data sets to generate solutions, to address issues which Syracuse, and all cities, are facing.”