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With the acceleration of climate change, addressing environmental challenges has never been more urgent. More people now than ever before have direct experience of the increased pressure on our planet. They are calling for better protection for local issues that have an impact in their lives, from extreme events such as flooding and wild-fires to pollution. At the same time, people have to global concerns related to the wise use and regeneration of natural assets, biodiversity loss and risks such as food security.

Environmental data can help to address these issues. As a result of citizens coming together with scientists and other stakeholders there is a growing amount of high-quality and open data to apply to these challenges. There are opportunities to merge open datasets from local governments and data from these Citizen Science projects to produce new and exciting data products.

We see innovation potential in developing technologies, services and models e.g. in land management, biodiversity trackers, pollution monitoring, agriculture and disaster response. There are also opportunities to support people’s values by removing barriers, such as conflicting attitudes and responsibilities, lack of time, trust or space, or providing training and incentives to solve local issues through pro environmental action. It is clear that we all have a role to play and there is a great deal that needs to be done.

WeObserve is opening data from four Citizen Observatories (GROW, GroundTruth 2.0, LandSense, SCENT) to create new digital transformation opportunities by using open data for products, services that can be implemented for wider social good. There are a few key events that make up our Open Data Challenge: Team registration, Consent for access to online datasets, Challenge themes and opportunities, Guidance from a mentor, submission and demonstration at a final event. Each of these events are free and open to all.

To register or find out more about the Open Data Challenge, please visit here.