In favor of spatial computing contests and prizes
Spatial computing, e.g., as embodied in ACM SIGSPATIAL, would benefit from more programming and data analysis contests, aka competitions, aka prize challenges. We should expand the ACM SIGSPATIAL (GIS) Cup. This would increase interest and attract attention to the field.
Historically, contests have often generated publicity and stimulated advances. In 1919, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown won a Daily Mail prize for the first transatlantic flight. In 1927, Charles Lindberg won the Orteig Prize for the first New York-Paris flight.
DARPA ran its 2004 Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles. In 2009, they had the Red Balloon (Network) Challenge. DARPA has also had several other prize challenges.
In 2014, IARPA Issued a $50K Automatic Speech Recognition Software Challenge, and in 2016, a Hybrid Forecasting Competition.
Kaggle provides a framework for running data science competitions, of which it has hundreds, including test datasets. Many are designed by for-profit companies, and have real prizes, up to $100,000.
Machine Learning has its Challenges and even a conference competition track.
Might we in the SIGSPATIAL community do likewise?