American Geophysical Union Announces Open API Challenge Winners

A $15,000 first prize was awarded to the AGU Explorer app.

21 November 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Geophysical Union (AGU) today announced the three winners of its Open API Challenge, including first place winners Bennett Battaile and Meenakshi Rao for their “AGU Explorer” app. AGU’s Open Application Programming Interface (API) Challenge tasked participants with using the broad wealth of data from its 2014, 2015, and 2016 Fall Meeting scientific programs, as well as available data from the upcoming 2017 Fall Meeting, in innovative ways to create an interactive web-based application that added value to the scientific program data in some way.

Application categories included but were not limited to: serendipitous discovery of relevant research; discovery of new collaboration opportunities; and identification of emerging areas of science.

A screenshot of the AGU Explorer app showing a map of the world.

AGU Explorer app and API Challenge winner.

Battaile and Rao’s app uses visualization tools that give users new ways to see the data. The home page features a map that breaks down presentations by location. The nested pie chart page reveals meeting data progressively; presenting meetings, programs, sessions and abstracts in order. Battaile and Rao secured the $15,000 grand prize.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to all three teams on their award-winning applications which succeeded in using the data in unique ways to benefit users. Seeing scientists and developers engage with and find novel uses for our data is exciting and brings great value to the Earth and space sciences.” said Chris McEntee, AGU Executive Director and CEO. “At AGU we’re committed to broadening the scope of scientific research and offering this first API Challenge is one way we can add to the scientific enterprise.”

Tom Narock, Sarah Hanain, and Ronie Stephan were awarded a $10,000 second place prize for “AGU Analytics,” an integrated tool that allows users to discover emerging topics, research and new colleagues. A keyword feature helps app users identify new people and authors.

Winning a $5,000 third place prize, Gerry Rizzo developed an app called “AGU Network” connecting Fall Meeting research and research by related data points.

The winning applications are available to the public online.


The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 139 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.






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