Johannesburg GeoJozi Challenge

Young Geographic Information Systems (GIS) developers from Johannesburg are being invited to “find a digital solution to the many challenges that exist around street addresses and location in the city”.

The competition is called the GeoJozi Challenge and is being run in conjunction between the City of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand University’s Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JSCE) as well as mapping software company Esri South Africa.

The GeoJozi Challenge is open to developers who are under 30 who are residents of Johannesburg. The winner will win R150,000 while the runner up is in line for R100,00 and the third prize is R50,000.

Those wanting to register have until the 31 August. Pitch registration will open on the 11th September and there will be a Pitch Day on the 8th October.

“An address specifies a point of service delivery and makes the city function better for everyone,” commented the competition organizer on the GeoJozi website . “It is essential for electricity, water, refuse, sewage, emergency services, land ownership, parcel deliveries and countless other critical services and functions. Without a street address and a location, cities cannot look after their citizens effectively.”

To get the ball rolling, the GeoJozi organizers set out some “basic ideas” about “dealing with the issues”, but also advised – or hoped – that “contestants are likely to have their own innovative ideas and solutions as well”. The organisers’ pointers are:

“Can our address capture and verification process be simplified and streamlined?

Can we use crowd sourcing or gamification for sourcing addresses?

Could we use augmented reality apps on a smart phone to do a “treasure hunt” for virtual treasures while gathering address and other data for verification?

What about creating a data marketplace where residents can use their smartphones to gather bits of data for a reward such as airtime, points or other items of value?

What about validating street address data using outside sources e.g. Google Street View, satellite imagery or equivalent sources?

Maybe the ways in which routing to addresses is done needs innovation? e.g. GPS navigation, signage, etc.”