Under Mayor Stephanie Miner’s leadership, the City of Syracuse has been working to improve its infrastructure (think roads and water pipes) in the last several years. The City created an Office of Innovation that for the past year focused on finding ways to use new technologies and data analysis methods to make those improvements.

Now, we’re challenging you to help.

In my capacity as the City’s Chief Data Officer (that’s me up there, with the Mayor, announcing this challenge!), it is my job to ensure we are using data to make the best decisions. Sometimes this means cleaning data, sometimes it means building predictive models, but the goal is put the City in a position to be data-driven.

As a graduate of the iSchool’s Information Management program, I know what types of skills you are learning, and I also know how capable you all are.

That is why I am excited to announce the Civic Data Hackathon: Syracuse Roads Challenge, powered by AT&T.

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For this, the City of Syracuse has released data about the quality of our roads, which are pockmarked with potholes and crosshatched with cuts. We are calling on you, the citizens, to take this data and build interesting visualizations, apps, or models to help inform our departments so we can better and more cost-effectively repair and maintain our streets.

And the best part is, if you build something great, you can win prizes!

You have until October 9. Your challenge is to come up with something interesting, useful, and cool.

More details here.