The ChronoZoom challenge: Visualize history and compete for $5,000 and a trip to Moscow

Editor’s note: The following is a post from Athima Chansanchai, Microsoft News Center Staff


Enter the Microsoft ChronoZoom Visualizing Challenge as an individual or team and you may win a grand prize of $5,000 and a trip to Moscow, Russia. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create visualizations that use ChronoZoom datasets and to provide new functions that educators and students have requested.

Read the official rules and register to enter the challenge, which ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 8.

ChronoZoom is a free, open source, community-owned project designed to run on any modern browser. As Donald Brinkman, manager of Games for Learning and Digital Humanities at Microsoft Research Connections, explains on the Microsoft Research Connections Blog, “ChronoZoom was originally intended as an tool for teaching Big History, which is to say the history of life, humanity, the Earth, the cosmos — everything that’s happened during the last 13.8 billion years. Recently, we’ve shifted the focus to general history education, adapting ChronoZoom to empower teachers at middle schools and high schools, giving them a powerful tool for explaining complex concepts of causality and ambiguity in historical thinking.”

For Brinkman, this competition brings together four of his passions: games, art, technology, and education. Contestants will start with the same dataset and the same basic information. They can use a wide variety of tools to create either a static or a dynamic visualization of the challenge data. But don’t forget, this challenge is also about visual appeal and clarity. Brinkman writes, “The visualizations should be simple enough for middle school students to use and understand, but powerful enough to enable these students to draw deep insights.”

While the grand prize is $5,000 and a trip to Moscow, there is a range of other prizes, from $300 for a student winner to $1,000 for the best non-interactive entry (Infographic), to $2,750 for second prize.

Read the rest of Brinkman’s post on the Microsoft Research Connections Blog to get all the details on this competition – and good luck!