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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Veterans Online Memorial Challenge

Submit your idea to make the Veterans Online Memorial more engaging and meaningful for users

Department of Veterans Affairs

Type of Challenge: Ideas
Submission Start: 10/26/2017 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 11/30/2017 05:00 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


Additional Information

The NCA currently owns and operates an online burial site information tool called the Nationwide Gravesite Locator (NGL). NGL is a system that provides the burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker. The Nationwide Gravesite Locator includes burial records from many sources. These sources provide varied data; some searches may contain less information than others. Information on veterans buried in private cemeteries was collected for the purpose of furnishing government grave markers. NGL is not meant to be interactive; people cannot leave notes, photos, comments, etc. on any of the results generated. It is meant purely as an information tool. NGL is available both for desktop and mobile devices.

What can you do?

We are asking you to submit ideas to creatively address one or more of the following items:
  • Attracts visitors to the online memorial
  • Engages visitors while at the online memorial
  • Retains visitors for long term online memorial engagement
  • Returns visitors to the online memorial on a habitual basis
  • Ensures proper decorum/appropriateness is upheld within the online memorial
  • Incorporates in-person interactive features
  • Integrates interactive features for those who can only engage remotely
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) seeks to create an interactive digital experience that enables virtual memorialization of the millions of people interred at VA national cemeteries. This online memorial space will allow visitors to honor, cherish, share, and pay their respects and permit researchers, amateurs, students, and professionals to share information about Veterans. The VA already has the core data and the future development plan to execute on this online memorial concept. We are seeking your best idea of website features or integrations that will make the interactive process meaningful, engaging, and appropriate for all future audiences. The ideas submitted in this challenge may be utilized in follow-on challenges that will execute on Topcoder.  


Participation Eligibility: The challenge is open to individuals, age 18 or older, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (see:
The following restrictions apply to the Challenge:  (1) Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment are not eligible to participate; (2) Federal employees acting outside the scope of their employment should consult their ethics advisor before participating in the Challenge; (3) All employees of the Government, [contractor(s)], Challenge sponsors, and other individual or entity associated with the development or administration of the Challenge, as well as their family members (i.e., spouse, children, parents, siblings, other dependents) and persons living in the same household whether or not related, are not eligible to participate; (4) Contractors receiving Government funding for the same or similar projects, along with their employees, are not eligible to participate in the Challenge.
Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English. No specific qualifications or expertise is required. Prize organizers encourage outside individuals and non-expert teams to compete and propose new solutions.
To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.
Registration and Submissions: Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the website, on or before 5pm ET on November 30, 2017. All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.
Intellectual Property: As detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement – Innovators who are awarded a prize for their submission must agree to grant The United States Department of Veterans Affairs an irrevocable, royalty free, perpetual, sublicensable, transferable, and worldwide license to use and permit others to use all or any part of the submission including, without limitation, the right to make, have made, sell, offer for sale, use, rent, lease, import, copy, prepare derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, and distribute all or any part of such submission, modifications, or combinations thereof and to sublicense (directly or indirectly through multiple tiers) or transfer any and all such rights.  The Department of Veterans Affairs' may implement submitted ideas in future online memorials.

Judging Criteria

Judging Scorecard Metric Description Weight Impact: Does the idea invoke powerful emotions that resonate with The Department of Veterans Affairs mission to virtualize memorialization in a meaningful way? Does the idea help ensure proper decorum in memorialization? Weighted at 25% of total score Engagement: Is the idea engaging? Does it have the potential to attract and retain users to the site, welcoming frequent site visits over the course of several years? Weighted at 25% of total score Creativity: How does the idea differ from existing solutions addressing this problem? How is the solution innovative? Weighted at 25% of total score Implementation: Is the idea practical and viable to implement? Did the innovator state the resources, timing, partnerships necessary to develop their idea? Judges will consider the fact that larger scale proposals will require more complex implementation. Weighted at 25% of total score