With billions of people depending on the ocean for their livelihoods and a wealth of data collected each day, access to digestible, instant ocean data can help solve some of the world’s grand challenges and push the new blue economy forward. However, the vast majority of ocean data remains untouched by app developers. But soon, that may change.

xprize logoThis week, the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative, backed by Wendy Schmidt, announced the seven winners of the Big Ocean Button Challenge – a global crowdsourcing competition awarding $100,000 for mobile app developments that turn ocean data into ocean services we need. The competition seeks new solutions for organizing and broadcasting ocean data with application innovations in five categories: Fishing, Shipping and Trade, Ocean Acidification, Public Safety and Exploration.

The seven winning mobile apps are:

  • SeaSee  (Winner: Exploration, Education): The SeaSee app uses bathymetric (seafloor) data to generate 3-D views of the underwater terrain from where the user is pointing their phone and their GPS location.
  • SeaStatus  (Winner: Public Safety, Integrating Multiple Data Sets): The SeaStatus app gives simple, personalized, and accurate marine weather reports to anyone with an internet-connected mobile device.
  • FishAngler  (Winner: Fishing): The FishAngler app is designed to capture, track and share some of your finest sports fishing experiences.
  • SOpHIE  (Winner: Ocean Acidification): The SOpHIE app delivers daily metrics of ocean acidification, ideal for users working in aquaculture, fisheries, and coastal monitoring.
  • Navisea  (Winner: Shipping & Trade): The Navisea app is built for planning and tracking ocean voyages with tons of additional data including traffic, ports, docks, charts, weather and more.
  • Chile es Mar  (Winner: Judge’s Award): The Chile es Mar app is aimed at bridging the information gap between science, fishermen, and seafood consumers in relation to the biology and ecology of exploited species, fishing regulation, market opportunities and traceability of small-scale fisheries in Chile.
  • Endangered Waves  (Winner: Conservation): The Endangered Waves app empowers and incentivizes surfers to monitor the health of their own coastlines through crowdsourced data.

More information about the Big Ocean Button challenge can be found here.

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