NASA International Space Apps Challenge: Kathmandu Hackathon

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2013-04-20 - 2013-04-20

DECC Hall, United World Trade Center, Tripureshwor,

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The International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon that will take place over a 48-hour period in cities on all seven continents on the weekend of 20–21 April. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing open-source solutions to global challenges using earth observation resources and geo-ICT tools to develop mobile apps, software and hardware, data visualization, and platform solutions. The two-day event will provide an opportunity for youth in Nepal to harness the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of citizen explorers to help address global challenges.

The event is being organized in Kathmandu, Nepal by ICIMOD within the framework of the SERVIR-Himalaya initiative supported by USAID and NASA, in close collaboration with YoungInnovations, a local partner organization. During the event, representatives from NASA and other international space agencies will gather with scientists and participants to use publicly released open data to create solutions for50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. The event aims to develop capacity of Nepal’s youth tech community in the development of applications and tools related to earth observation and geo-ICT, particularly focused on mountain regions.

The first International Space Apps Challenge was held in April 2012 in 25 cities around the world. The event brought together over 2,000 participants (ages 16-70) to address 71 challenges focused on improving life in space and on Earth. More than 100 unique open-source solutions were developed in less than 48 hours. The results can be viewed at



Calling all software developers, engineers, designers and technologists for the Kathmandu Hackathon!
In Nepal, we grew up listening to the mythical stories of Chandra Dev, Surya Dev, Sapta Rishi, and Dhurba Tara. As youth, we were curious about the Earth, moon, sun, and the stars, often looking into the night sky and wondering what exists beyond the constellations.
Through NASA’s space exploration program, many questions about space and the universe have been answered. NASA research and applications have also helped us realize the benefits of using space technology for earth observation – including in responding to disaster, understanding climate change, monitoring agriculture, tracking air pollution, and conserving biodiversity. Examples of this can be seen on the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Mountain GeoPortal.
Now, through NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, people from all over the world have been given a chance to learn more about space technology and earth observation applications and use their knowledge and skills to develop meaningful solutions to help to address critical global challenges.
This year, we are happy to announce that the people of Nepal have an opportunity to participate in this challenge. Working with experts from ICIMOD to learn more about the issues facing the region, participants will use their skills and knowledge to develop solutions to pressing problems, especially those that are affecting communities in the Himalayas. This is an opportunity you can't ignore and challenge you can't afford to miss!
We are calling on the best and the brightest software developers, engineers, designers and technologists from Nepal to join us in responding to real-world problems with solutions than can have a lasting impact.


Participants will work on challenges published by NASA and develop innovative solutions for them using the open data provided. The 3 categories of challenges include:

  • Software Development:

    Under this category, the participants will develop software in any platform such as mobile, web, etc., using programming languages of their preference.
  • Open Hardware:

    Under this category, the participants will develop circuits or robots to solve problems.
  • Data Visualization:

    Under this category, the participants will use open data to create comprehensive visualization to present the given data resources.


During the event, participants will organize themselves into teams to work on specific projects focused on solving a specific, issued challenge. Based on the interest and relevance of selected projects, participants can collaboratively work with participants from other cities as well. Additionally, ICIMOD will provide a web-based platform and the projects must include links to the original resources, such as a source code repository or hardware schematic. Solutions will only be accepted for judging if they are licensed under an Open Source License as determined by the Open Source Initiative:


Any project including at least one participant from Kathmandu makes that project eligible for local prizes. The prizes decided for Kathmandu are:

  • First Prize: NPR 30,000
  • Second Prize: NPR 20,000
  • Third Prize: NPR 10,000

ICIMOD together with the local partner will submit the top two solutions to NASA for global judging and awards. The global judging and award will be solely decided by NASA.

For regular updates:


On Twitter, please follow #spaceapps for international updates and #spaceapps_ktm for updates on the Kathmandu Hackathon, as well as @spaceappsktm @ICIMOD @MountainGeoPortal or @mobilenepal


International Spaceapps Challenge [NASA], Kathmandu:


Mountain GeoPortal:


All the updates will be shared through:

Contact Info

Suyesh Pradhan,
Mobile: 9803821405

Bimal Maharjan,
Younginnovations Pvt. Ltd
Mobile : 9849958666