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Ken Brandt
raul sharma
Raul S
Beth Huck
Shel West

Event checklist


About this event

Just like the commercial world, the government is drowning in data, and accessing that data to discover the insights hiding within it remains difficult. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Disparate Data Challenge encourages participants to offer solutions that can demonstrate effective capabilities that enable access to data that is wildly disparate 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 multistage challenge open to U.S. and foreign citizens, or and U.S. or foreign entities. Please be advised that while foreign citizens and foreign entities may participate, they are not eligible to receive cash (monetary) prizes (see full eligibility requirements below.)

STAGE 1: Stage 1 requires solvers to implement functioning capabilities that can demonstrate access and retrieval to analyze either part or all of the provided representative datasets that approximate the difficulties associated with accessing and using NGA’s disparate restricted-access holdings. You may access the data through the following link:

Stage 1 solution submissions must be actual working capabilities (not just white papers, but working code) that can perform their functions against the representative datasets specified above.

As part of Stage 1, NGA reserves the right to make up to twenty awards, or no award at all. Award decisions will be based on the solutions’ potential to work well when applied to the restricted-access data holdings. NGA will award up to 15 cash prizes in the amount of $10,000 each to the top 15 eligible awardees. The total amount available for cash prizes is $150,000. All Stage 1 awardees will also receive invitations to participate in Stage 2 of the challenge. Stage 1 awardees will be announced on September 30, 2016.

STAGE 2: Stage 2 of the challenge is restricted to Stage 1 awardees. Stage 2 of the challenge is a demonstration (Demo-thon) of the Stage 1 awardees solutions in the Washington, D.C. area. Execution of Stage 2 is dependent on extension of NGA’s challenge authority into fiscal year 2017 (FY17 starts OCT 1, 2016). The Stage 1 awardees will be notified via email if and when the Government receives authority to proceed with Stage 2.

At the Demo-thon another panel of judges will use participants’ solutions to access, retrieve, and examine the representative datasets used during Stage 1. Participants will have an opportunity to demonstrate other special features that they believe address the challenge. Participants will be asked to connect to additional datasets in preparation for the demo. Stage 2 participants will have a chance to improve their solution during Demo-thon and will have the opportunity to re-demonstrate before the judges make a final decision. Additional NIST data sets will be added during the second stage and used to test technical effectiveness. To get a feel of the type of NIST data that will be added at Stage 2, a sample collection of data can be obtained by signing up for access at the site.

As part of Stage 2, NGA reserves the right to make multiple awards, or no reward at all. Award decisions will be based upon the solutions the judges determine to be most responsive to the challenge and most likely to be effective when applied to part or all of NGA’s restricted-access data. Although there is no limit to the number of Stage 2 participants that may be declared winners (i.e., have meaningfully met and addressed the challenge), NGA reserves the right to award up to three additional cash awards to the three highest rated eligible awardees (highest rated ($25,000), second highest rated ($15,000) or third highest rated ($10,000)). The challenge concludes upon announcement of the Stage 2 winners.

HOW TO ENTER: By 5 p.m. local time (Washington, DC) on September 19, 2016, please submit the following items through

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Contact information, email and phone number
  • Description of your solution written in English (maximum 1,000 words). In your description you must describe which of the representative disparate data sets your solution will access effectively (partial solutions are totally acceptable!). You may also want to describe how to demo your solution. Please provide either a link to a working product or provide us with something else that can be used to effectively assess the technical aspects of your submission.
  • Instructions for accessing your submission — in other words, how can our judges get access to the functioning solution to use against the representative disparate data? This can be appended to your project description and does not count toward the 1,000-word maximum.
  • To assist in judge’s ability to understand and assess your solution, it is recommended participants link to a YouTube video demo of the product (maximum of four minutes in length). If authentication is required to access the video, please provide this in your submission.

All questions from participants relating to the contest must posted to the discussion board. All answers will be posted to the discussion board and will be viewable by all participants.


  • Response to this Disparate Data Challenge is completely separate from the GEOINT Search and Retrieval (GSR) Request for Proposal. Please refer to our memo for more details.
  • Participants are not required to travel to compete in Stage 1. If you’re selected as a Stage 1 winner, and if you desire to participate in the Stage 2 Demo-thon, you will be required to travel to the Washington, D.C, metro area to demonstrate your solution live on October 20 and 21, 2016 (Notional). NGA is not responsible for and will not pay any costs associated with attending the Stage 2 Demo-thon.
  • NGA will confirm execution of stage 2 as soon as possible. Invitations to Demo-Thon will be emailed to the Stage 1 awardees if and when the NGA’s Challenge authority is extended.
  • Stage 2 winners will comprise the competitive pool for a potential prototype project.
  • The prize money will be transmitted by electronic funds transfer to the bank account of the eligible private entities or individual awardees as determined by NGA. If the awardee is the leader or member of a team of participants, it is the responsibility of the awardee, not NGA, to determine the subsequent division of any prize money.
  • Tax treatment of prizes will be handled in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. The recipient must provide an appropriate U.S. taxpayer identification number (e.g., social security number, employer identification number, etc). The recipient should consult a tax advisor to ensure that winnings are handled properly and reported accurately for tax purposes.
  • If NGA is unable to contact the winning participants within 72 hours after the announcement of the awardee, NGA reserves the right to withdraw the award.


  • Home-1st
  • Stage One - up to 15 cash prizes of $10,000 each
  • Stage 1: The Challenge will award up to 15 cash prizes of $10,000 each, for a potential total value of $150...

  • Home-2nd
  • Stage Two - 1st/$25,000 2nd/$15,000 3rd/$10,000 (Notional)
  • Stage 2: The Challenge may award up to 3 cash prizes for highest rated ($25,000), second highest rated ($15...



  • Thursday
  • Schedule for the day is not published
  • Friday
  • Challenge published.



ELIGIBILITY RULES FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE COMPETITION: Participation in this Challenge is open to individuals and private entities. Entries may only be submitted by a registered participan...

Participation in this Challenge is open to individuals and private entities. Entries may only be submitted by a registered participant.

  • In order to be eligible to receive a cash (monetary) prize, the private entities shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Individuals shall be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents are not eligible to win a cash (monetary) prize (in whole or in part).
  • In the case of a U.S. private entity, a tax identification number and an electronic funds transfer number will be required from the winner before the prize will be awarded.
  • In the case of an U.S. individual, whether participating singly or in a group, must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Home address, age, social security number, and an electronic funds transfer number will be required from the winner before the prize will be awarded.
  • May not be a Federal entity.
  • May not be a Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. Federal employees may not pursue an application while in the Federal workplace or while on duty.
  • Employees of NGA and NGA support contractors directly supporting the development or execution of this challenge, including their spouses and dependents for tax year 2016, are not eligible to participate.
  • Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
  • Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a challenge submission.
  • May not be a judge of the Challenge, or any other party involved in the design, production, execution, or distribution of the Challenge or the immediate family of such a party (i.e. spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child).

Additional participation rules:

  • The Challenge is authorized under 10 U.S.C.A. § 2374a, which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to award prizes in recognition of outstanding achievements in basic, advanced, and applied research, technology development, and prototype development that have the potential for application to the performance of military missions of the Department of Defense.
  • The Government will not use the submission, including computer software code, for any purpose other than to evaluate the submission. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use information, including computer software, contained in this submission if it is obtained from another source without restriction.
  • The rules apply to all participants in the NGA Disparate Data Challenge and may be changed without prior notice. Participants should monitor the Challenge website for the latest information.
  • Registration information collected by NGA will be used solely for the purpose of administering the event. Registration information will not be distributed to any parties outside of NGA nor released for any other purpose except as noted in this document.
  • Individual participants’ display name may be listed on the Challenge website to enable the event to be tracked by interested members of the public. The name and photographs of the winner may be posted on the NGA website and released to the media.
  • NGA may contact registered participants to discuss the means and methods used in solving the Challenge. NGA will retain no record of individual entries after the event is complete, but may compute and release to the public aggregate data and statistics from the submitted solutions.
  • Nothing in these rules, to include information on the Challenge website and communications by NGA officials, may be interpreted as authorizing the incurrence of any costs or modifying the statement of work or authorizing work outside the terms and conditions of any existing agreements or contracts with NGA.
  • An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.
  • A submission may be disqualified if, in NGA’s sole judgment:
    • Fails to function as described,
    • The detailed description is significantly inaccurate or incomplete,
    • Malware or other security threats are present.
  • NGA Reserves the right to disqualify a participant whose actions are deemed to violate the spirit of the competition for any reason, including but not limited to, the violation of laws or regulation in the course of participating in the challenge. NGA does not authorize or consent to a participant infringing on any US patent or copyright while participating in the Challenge.
  • NGA Reserves the right, in its sole discretion to (a) cancel, suspend or modify the Challenge without notice, and/or (b) not award any prize if no entries are deemed worthy.
  • The Component Acquisition Executive (CAE), NGA is the final decision authority for all matters concerning the Challenge.
  • The agency’s award decision is final.
  • Each individual (whether competing singly or in a group) or entity agrees to follow applicable local, State, and Federal laws and regulations.
  • Each individual (whether participating singly or in a group) and entity participating in this Challenge must comply with all terms and conditions of these rules, and participation in this Challenge constitutes each participant’s full and unconditional agreement to abide by these rules. Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein.
  • Challenge participants fully agree to assume any and all risks and waive all claims against the federal arising out of their participation in this Challenge.
  • Challenge participants fully agree not to use portions of the data sets provided by Digital Globe for any activity or function outside of this specific challenge.