Data tools

Climate data tools win NOAA’s challenge

Since the 1980s, multi-billion dollar climate disasters in the United States have quadrupled, prompting government agencies to step up the pace and scale of their responses. Local officials, however, have been challenged to find federal data related to climate risks and data management tools to help them make data-driven decisions.

As part of the Grand Open Data for Good Challenge, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offered $ 50.00 to teams creating new digital tools to help local decision-makers use federal data for better climate resilience planning.

NOAA announced four winners:

MySidewalk’s Community Resilience Toolkits received the NOAA award for “Best Versatile and Most Responsive to NOAA Challenge”. The startup’s six toolkits allow users to assess local risks and resilience solutions for common community risks, including extreme heat, sea level rise and coastal storms, flooding in the region. inland, forest fires, drought, erosion and landslides.

The company’s platform allows users to download out-of-the-box public and census data from over 40 sources, allowing them to merge the information into a unified response database. Data can be filtered across 16 geographic levels, such as city council districts or zip codes for more granular analysis, and population data can be segmented by age, sex, and race.

Forerunner’s Floodplain Management Dashboard received the “Best User Interface and User Experience” award. The startup’s dashboard uses the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Hazard Layer database and NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey images to inform local floodplain managers of current risks, allowing them to monitor changes in their community.

The dashboard combines effective and preliminary flood insurance rate maps, plot information, and elevation data to give floodplain managers a more comprehensive view of the risks in their communities.

Mayday’s centralized artificial intelligence tool,, received the “Best Use of Federal Data” award. It uses federal open data sets to inform its adaptive risk intelligence technology. The company uses data from 300 satellites, 35,000 AI-enabled cameras, audio sentiment analysis, and social media to conduct what it calls ongoing awareness. Aggregate real-time disaster information, enabling city managers to reduce the costs and effects of climate-related events.

NOAA’s “Best Tool for Equity and Inclusion” winner, R Story, was developed by a team of students. The tool uses data from the Census, the Environmental Protection Agency and a number of other agencies to improve sustainable rural economic development.

“NOAA’s partnership with the Census Bureau and participants in the Opportunity Project has created exciting new tools that can help communities across the country use data from NOAA and other federal agencies to prepare for climate impacts. and build a better America, ”said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.

Project Opportunity is an annual sprint and technical development competition hosted by the Census Bureau, and this is the first year that NOAA has participated.