Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NGA ‘hacks’ Huntsville, seeks solutions for natural disaster emergencies

 Feb. 24, 2017

 NGA Media Relations
 (571) 557-5450

Public Release Number: 17-284

Agency’s hackathon series blasts off in ‘Rocket City’ Feb. 25-26

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is holding its first hackathon event of the year Feb. 25-26 in Huntsville, Alabama.

The two-day event will bring together local innovators, industry, small businesses and academia to tackle a natural disaster scenario and develop geospatially-focused solutions to aid emergency responders.

“The challenge we’re proposing involves determining where and when exactly disaster events – like flooding – will take place based on publicly-available data sets and how response personnel can stay in front of a dynamic situation,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Adam Satterfield, NGA’s lead for crowdsourced-driven innovation.

The hackathon will begin with remarks from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and include opportunities to meet with NGA recruiters and industry representatives and receive briefings from NGA experts. The event culminates in final “pitches” addressing the challenge from the participating teams.

The grand prize winner will receive a cash award of $3,000, and the first runner-up will receive an award of $1,000.

“Crowdsourcing NGA’s mission-centric problems provides valuable technical solutions and allows NGA to recruit top talent,” said Satterfield. “This hack supports one of NGA’s most public mission sets – providing accurate and timely geospatial intelligence to first responders.”

This is the second NGA hackathon to be held in Huntsville. The 2016 event resulted in the creation of an open-source geospatial tool that provides information rapidly to first responders. NGA’s next hackathon is scheduled for March 25-26 in Los Angeles, California, and will focus on food security and regional stability.

The conclusion of the hackathon also coincides with the beginning of this year’s “Innovate Huntsville,” a week of scheduled events, panels, and social activities designed to educate, inspire and engage the region’s brightest entrepreneurs, investors, strategic advisors, and community supporters.