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Welcome to NCSC's 2018 Viz-a-thon!

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is hosting a virtual multi-week contest to create a supportable, interactive, data visualization of the state court structure charts. We want to enhance transparency and comparability by creating a tool that integrates resources that have existed separately until now. For the first time NCSC has compiled a dataset allowing for the analyzation and display of start court structure charts, and state court properties.

Join our mission by creating a new resource that will engage, invite, and inform our public!

NCSC's State Court Viz-a-thon is your opporuntity to create a user-friendly interactive tool that facilitates comparability between state court structures and characteristics.

Register and then ...

After you register you will be added to the NCSC Viz-a-thon Slack instance. Throughout the competition you will have daily access to NCSC subject matter experts, and NCSC will be hosting several live Q&A online meetings where you can ask questions about the data, and our data viz needs.

The contest will start with the release of the dataset on September 20th.

All submissions are due on September 30th.

Finalists will be selected and then announced on October 3rd.

Live demos and judging will occur and be broadcast Thursday, October 4th 5PM - 8PM.

Visualization Requirements

What is considered a data visualization?
A successful Viz-a-thon visualization will represent the hierarchy of state courts, and the flow of cases types through those courts. The visualization will represent properties of the courts in a graphical form, translating quantitative and qualitative properties of the courts into visual figures. The graphical forms can be simple or complex but the underlying data must be represented.

What forms can the visualization take?
A winning Viz-a-thon submission will be an interactive tool or web app, either:

● developed from scratch,
● developed using an existing visualization library (e.g. D3.js) *,
● or developed using an existing data visualization tool (e.g.'s Tableau Public, Power BI)*.

* If an existing code library or tool is used, then attribution must be made to the library or tool, and if there is a cost associated with the library or tool, the cost must be declared when the solution is submitted. (See Intellectual Property Rights)

What absolutely, positively needs to be included in the visualization?
An effective Viz-a-thon solution will show all the required data (see below), and will:

● be interactive,
● display the courts in an single selected US state,
● demonstrate how the courts in a selected state relate to each other,
● show where types of court cases are heard in the state,
● and allow a user to investigate the similarities and differences in court structure and court cases between multiple US states.

Technical Requirements

1. Your solution must be cloud hosted, or self-hosted, and available for viewing for the duration of the contest.
1.1 All supporting code used in creating the solution must be made accessible to the judges.
2. Your solution must have a cloud based infrastructure. This can be open source or have a standalone license with reasonable cost.
3. NCSC must be able to use the data visualization solution free of charge, or if a code library or tool is used that costs money, then the cost must be declared when the solution is submitted. (See Intellectual Property Rights Section)
4. The solution must be maintainable through a SQL database/Excel Spreadsheet.

Data requirements

1. Teams must produce at least 10 state court structure charts.
1.1 Must include New York and Georgia.
2. Must have some filterability/searchability.
2.1 Required filters: State, Trial Structure, Court Level, CSP Aggregation, Neighbor State, and Case Types.
2.2 Recommended Filters: Rural, Population, Population Density, Appellate Criminal Structure, Death Penalty, Funding Source, and caseload size.
3. Must show appeals process.
4. Required data elements to display: State, Court Names, Court Levels, Funding, Appeal from Administrative Agency, Notes, Links, and Case Types. 4.1 All other data elements provided are recommended but not required.
5. Judging will include the ease that additional data points, and filters can be added to the visualization.


1. Preference: Resolution be HD (1,920X1,080).
2. Responsive design would be amazing, but we know this can be challenging. Feel free to consider the ease with which response design could be included.
3. Ability to print each state's high-level structure chart on one page.
4. Including optional data elements for comparison, filtering, and sorting.

Be sure to read the full Rules and Terms & Conditions.

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