Cyberinfrasructure for Intelligent Water Supply Data Visualization Challenge
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Cyberinfrastructure for Intelligent Water Supply (CIWS) Data Visualization Challenge

As part of a research project sponsored by the United States National Science Foundation, the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University is sponsoring a data visualization challenge. This repository provides details about the challenge, links to the datasets available for the challenge, and instructions for submitting entries.

NOTE: We will periodically update this repository with additional documentation, examples, and information. Please make sure you check back often.

The Challenge

Our research group is developing cyberinfrastructure to better support the collection, management, and use of smart water metering data. This Challenge will provide students at Utah State University with an opportunity to develop visualizations of high resolution water use data that are potentially novel and innovative. We aim to develop new approaches for providing visual feedback to both water providers (e.g., your municipality that provides your drinking water) and you as a water consumer.

Visualizations devloped for this challenge should be focused on creating visual information that would be useful for either water users (to inform them about thier water consumption) or water providers (e.g., the municipality delivering the water). Given this, the objective is to create visualizations that are easily understandable and may provide actionable information (e.g., the homeowner can see thier water use visually and may change thier behavoir based on the information you provide).

Access Information About our Research Group's Project Here


We are offering prizes for the most innovative submissions in two categories related to the two datasets we have posted for this challenge - 1) household residential, and 2) campus residential. We will award the following prizes for each of the two categories:

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $300
  • Third Place: $200

Note: Payment will be made to you by Utah State University through USU's Scholarship Office.

Who Can Participate?

We are encouraging submissions from students in both Computer Science and Engineering departments at USU, but we are happy to receive submissions from any students at USU. For this first round of the visualization challenge we are limiting submissions to students at Utah State University; however, in future versions of the challenge we may open it up to students outside of USU. Participants may be at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Getting Started and How to Submit an Entry

Use the following steps to download the datasets and get started:

  1. Click the link in the datasets section below. This will take you to a description of the challenge datasets with links for downloading them.
  2. Create a new GitHub repository under your GitHub user account to develop and host the source code for your submission.
  3. Check the documentation page where we have provided links to documents and papers providing examples of analyses and visualizations relevent to this type of data. You may get some good ideas from these existing papers.
  4. Develop your submission. We encourage you to use Python and existing Python visualization packages such as matplotlib, but you may develop your submission in your preferred programming language.
  5. When complete, commit your source code to your repository and send a link to your repository to
  6. Attend the Challenge Event at the Utah Water Research Laboratory (details will be posted on this repository) at the end of the challenge to present your results and do demos for a panel of students and faculty who will select Challenge winners.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our project is focused on open source code development. A condition of receiving prizes for winning entries as part of this challenge will be that you must allow us to upload your source code to this GitHub repository.

The Datasets

We've posted two major datasets for this visualization challenge. These include a high resolution water use dataset for an individual household and a high resolution water use dataset for 4 buildings in the Living Learning Center on USU's campus.

Access the Challenge Datasets Here

Visit the Documentation Pages

We have developed a set of documentation pages that provide background about our research project along with links to supporting literature. You may find ideas for developing innovative and effective visualizations of the datasets at the link below.

Access Additional Documentation

Important Dates

The Challenge is ongoing! The following are important dates:

  • Submission Deadline: Friday March 1, 2019 by Midnight (see above for how to submit)
  • Judging Event: We will hold this sometime in March after we have had a chance to initially evaluate submissions. Details about time and place will be provided to all participants who submit an entry to the challenge.


Sponsors and Credits

The material in this repository is based on work supported by National Science Foundation Grant CBET 1552444. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.