Knight Foundation is sponsoring SotM

Logo Knight FoundationThe Knight Foundation has given away over $20 million towards news innovation through the Knight News Challenge, a five-year $25 million initiative to build the next-generation infrastructure to inform and engage communities.

In the last few years, mapping has become an increasingly important element among our winners. Five of the 12 projects which won grants in 2010 involved mapping in some form: TileMill by DevelopmentSeed of Washington DC; CitySeed by Arizona State University’s New Media Innovation Lab in Phoenix; CityTracking by Stamen Design out of San Francisco; GoMap Riga by two Latvians; and LocalWiki by the founders of Davis Wiki of Davis, California. In addition, a 2009 grantee, Ushahidi also made its reputation through crowd-sourced crisis mapping.

The News Challenge is interested in all layers of the map stack, including data gathering, tile rendering, and interactive consumer-facing applications.

The requirements to enter the Knight News Challenge are three-fold: innovation, involving news and information, and having a local geographic angle. In general, the reviewers look favorably upon projects that can be considered catalytic — whether as a proof-of-concept, creating open-source infrastructure tools that can be leveraged by others, or taking an existing project with traction that can be brought to scale. It is generally a strength if an applicant has an existing history with open source projects or has an existing beta product. The News Challenge requires any code and intellectual property funded by the foundation to be released open source or under Creative Commons by the end of the grant.

Jennifer 8. Lee, the lead Knight News Challenge reviewer, will be available at the State of The Map conference in Girona, Spain to explain how to craft an effective proposal and to field questions.

Last year the contest received over 2,300 proposals. The initial application is a simple set of questions, designed to help lead people who have never gone through a grant process before. As you proceed through the rounds, the questions get more detailed.

The next deadline will be in fall 2010. Please visit newschallenge.org for more information.

Written by henk in: Sponsors |

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