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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Living Stories Challenge

Dynamic and easy-to-read version control for everyone

Department of Defense - National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $10,000
Type of Challenge: Software and apps
Submission Start: 06/06/2016 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 07/15/2016 11:00 PM ET


Challenge is closed. See press release below about the winner and how the code was used.  NGA press release August 17, 2016 NGA is looking for an easy-to-use time slider or another simple mechanism to track a living story as edits change the story.  Most version control comparison systems are based on radio button and point selection.  We'd like to turn this behind-the-scenes function into a friendly front-page dynamic solution. Basically, we would like to see what you come up with for a dynamic, fast, and aesthetic way to easily track versioned changes within our existing construct for the "living document," in this case, a Wordpress post. The Wordpress theme below was an attempt to move the version control behind the scenes to a vertical time slider. Red and green color codes show additions and deletions by bouncing around the page attempting to show where the content was added or modified. The problem is page edits not currently within the browser active view cause vertical scrolls too quick for visual digestion.  How can we improve this?  The color codes highlighting additions and deletions move too fast. How can we slow this down?  Or do you have another original idea to solve this? [embed][/embed] Requirements Features: The submitted WordPress theme or plugin must address these specific features:
  • An easy-to-use WordPress theme or plugin.
  • Ability to track living stories using a time slider. The edits will be coming in frequently, so the time slider will have to update in real time.
  • A friendly front-page solution that does not interfere with page loading or scrolling. This solution could be static, a panel which hides/fades, or something else altogether.
  • The solution should only appear in the browsers’ active view.
  • Transition effects from one time period to another should happen very smoothly.
  • Source code must be simple enough to understand and extend, yet robust enough to function as intended.
Audience: Your submission should be developed for end-users or readers who would like to easily view versioned changes within our existing construct for the "living document." The primary audience is NOT the developer but the general reader. Platforms: Your submission must be a custom theme or plugin that functions without errors on WordPress, and seamlessly work on any type browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari). Development Standards: WordPress themes/plugins should be coded using the following WordPress guidelines. Supplementary Materials: You must submit a white paper no more than three (3) pages to that explains the product in detail, including:
  • Name of the projects and all sub-modules and libraries
  • Short description of all the projects and all sub-modules and libraries
  • Instructions on how to install, configure, and to use the theme/plugin
  • Instruction on how to grab the latest code
  • List of authors as well as their contact info (email address, website, company name, etc.)
  • If it's a fork of something else, describe the original source and why the fork was necessary
  • Make sure your white paper highlights the repo it supports
Testing: You must make your theme/plugin available at no charge to judges for evaluation during the judging period.


10 Grand Living Stories Prize
Cash Prize Amount: $10,000


Licensing When you submit code to this contest - the code becomes open source. All contributions based on WordPress themes/plugins will be released under the GPL 2 or later license. Discussion Board All questions from participants relating to the contest must posted to the discussion board. All answers will be posted to the discussion board and will be viewable by all participants. Notification of Winning Submission Upon conclusion of the judging process, the individual(s) responsible for the winning submission will be notified via email. Individual notification of non-winning submissions will not be made. Eligibility and Participation
  • Participation in the Challenge is open to private entities and individuals.  Entries may only be submitted by a registered participants.
  • Private entities shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States.  Individuals shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents are not eligible to win a monetary prize (in whole or in part);
  • In the case of a private entity, a tax identification number and an electronic funds transfer number will be required from the winner before the prize will be awarded.
  • In the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Home address, age, social security number, and an electronic funds transfer number will be required from the winner before the prize will be awarded;
  • May not be a Federal entity;
  • May not be a Federal employee acting within the scope of his/her employment, and further, and may not work on his or her submission(s) during assigned duty hours;
  • May not be a judge of the Challenge, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution, or distribution of the Challenge or the immediate family of such a party (i.e., spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child).
Prizes The Challenge will award one cash prize of $10,000. The overall winner will be the eligible, registered participant that submits the best overall solution in accordance with the evaluation criteria by the Challenge deadline. The prize money will be transmitted by electronic funds transfer to the bank account of the private entity or individual determined by NGA to be the overall winner. If the overall winner is the leader or member of a team of participants, it is the responsibility of the overall winner, not NGA, to determine the subsequent division of any prize money. Tax treatment of prizes will be handled in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. The recipient must provide an appropriate U.S. taxpayer identification number (e.g., social security number, employer identification number, etc). The recipient should consult a tax advisor to ensure that winnings are handled properly and reported accurately for tax purposes. If NGA is unable to contact the winning participant within 72 hours after the announcement of the winner, NGA may award the prize to the runner-up. Additional Information
  • The Challenge is authorized under 10 U.S.C.A. § 2374a, which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to award prizes in recognition of outstanding achievements in basic, advanced, and applied research, technology development, and prototype development that have the potential for application to the performance of military missions of the Department of Defense.
  • The rules apply to all participants in the NGA Living Stories Challenge and may be changed without prior notice. Participants should monitor the Challenge website for the latest information.
  • Registration information collected by NGA will be used solely for the purpose of administering the event. Registration information will not be distributed to any parties outside of NGA nor released for any other purpose except as noted in this document.
  • Individual participants' display name may be listed on the Challenge website to enable the event to be tracked by interested members of the public. The name and photographs of the winner may be posted on the NGA website and released to the media.
  • NGA may contact registered participants to discuss the means and methods used in solving the Challenge. NGA will retain no record of individual entries after the event is complete, but may compute and release to the public aggregate data and statistics from the submitted solutions.
  • Nothing in these rules, to include information on the Challenge website and communications by NGA officials, may be interpreted as authorizing the incurrence of any costs or modifying the statement of work or authorizing work outside the terms and conditions of any existing agreements or contracts with NGA.
  • By registering and/or participating in this Challenge, each individual (whether competing singly or in a group) or entity agrees to indemnify the U.S. Government from any and all liability and costs arising from or related to the participant’s participation in the Challenge.
  • An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during the Challenge if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the Challenge on an equitable basis.
  • NGA reserves the right to disqualify a participant whose actions are deemed to violate the spirit of the competition for any reason, including but not limited to, the violation of laws or regulations in the course of participation in the Challenge. NGA does not authorize or consent to participants infringing on any U.S. patent or copyright while participating in the Challenge.
  • NGA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) cancel, suspend, or modify the Challenge without notice, and/or (b) not award any prizes if no entries are deemed worthy.
  • The Component Acquisition Executive (CAE), NGA is the final decision authority for all matters concerning the Challenge.
  • The agency’s award decision is final.
  • Each individual (whether competing singly or in a group) or entity agrees to follow applicable local, State, and Federal laws and regulations.
  • Each individual (whether participating singly or in a group) and entity participating in this Challenge must comply with all terms and conditions of these rules, and participation in this Challenge constitutes each participant's full and unconditional agreement to abide by these rules. Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein.

Judging Criteria

User Experience
Percentage: 50
How easy is it for the general reader to track the changes in a living story.

Percentage: 30
The theme/plugin must work without errors and should be coded to WordPress Development standards.

Required Features
Percentage: 20
All required features must work as intended.

How To Enter

How to Enter In order to enter the contest, please send an email to with the following information:
  • Full Name
  • Organization (state "entering for myself" if not associated with an organization)
  • Email Address
  • GitHub handle
Your GitHub handle will be added to a private repository in NGA's official organizational GitHub account as an outside collaborator. This will allow you to have read access to the WordPress Revision Slider Challenge private repository. You will have private repo privileges, but you will not be charged for using private repos. NGA's private repository can be found here: WordPress Revision Slider Challenge When you're done coding, email your white paper to and highlight what repo the paper goes with. For more details about how to get started with the challenge and contribute code submissions back to us follow the instructions here: NGA Living Stories Challenge