In August the chief editorial writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer challenged readers to suggest a way to remap Cuyahoga County. He noted the county now has 38 cities, 19 villages and two townships, an arragement far too complex to manage in the longtem. His solution had just 14 municipalities: Cleveland and 13 suburbs. Readers submitted nearly 4,000 maps.
This is an interesting event because it really spurred the readers to engage via maps and comments, e-mails and voice mail. It's also intersting because "Rich Exner and Pete Zicari, ... -- created [a consensus map] by calculating the most common aggregations proposed." You can even see the "raw maps" that led to the consensus map.
On September 18, thousands of people around the world will get their hands wet testing the condition of their local waterbodies in observance of World Water Monitoring Day. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) urge individuals and organizations worldwide to participate and help raise awareness of the importance of water quality.
While that "day" is Tuesday, the challenge and data collection take place between March 22 and Dec 31. This is a participation type of challenge, yet there is also a contest aspect to it. There is a map of data from the current year (yes, it has room for improvement).
Back in August, Azavea launched a mobile version of PhillyTreeMap (iTunes link), its tool to crowdsource tree locations in the city. The app was step up from the original web-based solution. And there's good news for tree mapping:
Funding won’t be an issue for Azavea’s tree software efforts, at least for another two years, according to Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham. The GIS shop was just awarded a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue its tree-planting [???] work.