Urban Data Challenge Kick-off

On your mark, get set, go! The online data visualization competition begins. Get primed, get connected, and get started.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


February 07, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

Related events

Feb 8: Hackathon, Lift in Geneva (RSVP on opendata.ch until January 30)
Feb 23: International Open Data Day; Hackathon, San Francisco at GAFFTA; Meet-up in Zurich, Switzerland
April 6: Awards Ceremony, San Francisco and Zurich


The Urban Data Challenge is here and the competition starts now. Attend the kick-off at swissnex San Francisco to hear from the organizers, decipher the data, meet jury members and other participants, and form teams.

What’s the heartbeat of your city? The Urban Data Challenge is an international, online data visualization competition running from February 6 through March 31, 2013. Designers, programmers, data scientists, hackers, and artists are invited to merge and compare mobility data sets on public and private transportation from three cities—San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich—and visualize insights.

Winning projects will showcase the power of open governmental data and facilitate the knowledge exchange between cities. Juried prizes include round-trip airfare to one of the participating cities and funding for developing the project into an app.



6:30 pm  doors open
7:00 pm  challenge overview, introduction to the data sets, and Q&A
8:00 pm  team building, networking, food and drinks


Michael Porath

Michael Porath is a Swiss information scientist with a focus in and passion for data visualization. He recently co-founded the Bay Area-based data visualization consultancy Halftone. His company helps clients solve industry-specific problems by designing and building customized data visualization applications and information displays. Michael graduated from UC Berkeley, where he also teaches the theory and craft of information visualizations to graduate students at the School of Information.


 Josette Melchor

Josette Melchor is the Executive Director and Founder of Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (GAFFTA), a San Francisco non-profit that applies digital art and technology for positive social impact. As a community organizer, she led the launch of Seaquence.org, a product of Gray Area Research, an artist-in-research program for creative technologies. She also ran City Centered, a program that connected cities with data artists for public good. As a curator, she has worked with notable designers and interdisciplinary research centers including: MiT Senseable City Lab, Institute of Computer Sound and Technology, Stamen Design; artists C.E.B Reas, Robert Hodgin, Aaron Koblin, Camille Utterback, and many more.


Chris Pangilian

Chris Pangilian is a transportation engineer with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and on the board of directors for the local chapter of the Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT). His work at SFMTA focuses primarily on developing and implementing roadway improvements that reduce delays on the city’s bus and rail system. In pursuit of this goal, Chris is very interested in learning how to harness large transportation datasets to make better planning and operational decisions.
During 2010-2011, Chris served as a special assistant at the United States Department of Transportation, working on issues affecting transportation research and open government innovation. Prior to joining the SFMTA, Chris worked for two years as a transportation consultant. Chris earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Portland State University and his Masters of Science degree in Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos