Cycling Data Challenge

Download the data, develop your ideas and pitch your innovations to an expert judging panel to win our exciting new cycling Data Challenge and take home the £1,000 voucher prize.

The benefits of cycling as a mode of transport are well documented – including saving money, improving health and a cleaner environment for all.

Although there are many existing measures in place to increase cycling, we’re challenging you - whether you’re an academic, in business, involved in a charity, a startup or a data enthusiast - to use Strava Metro data to develop innovative solutions to answer the question, how do we get more people cycling?

How the challenge works

We’ll provide you with the Strava Metro data and the rest is up to you! Your entry could take the form of a tool, an app, a visualisation, a linked dataset, or a new piece of software that you have created. We’re looking for novel, innovative, interesting uses of Strava data that will encourage more people to cycle - either by direct use of your product or via a planning or policy tool that can be used by a public body or other organisation to encourage and support active travel.

The judging panel will be looking at:

  • The degree of novelty, current relevance and originality of the entry
  • The link between the data used and what has been produced
  • The technological innovation involved in the entry
  • The extent to which the entry responds to a real and current cycling issue
  • How creatively the data has been used
  • The potential impact of the entry: how will it get more people to cycle?

You may also want to link the Strava Metro data with other open datasets in your entry - look at our Open Data Portal for inspiration.

Ideas for topics that entries could cover include (but are not limited to):

  • Reducing traffic, congestion and pollution in urban areas
  • Making cycling commuter routes easier/quicker/safer
  • Improved communication between cyclists and local authorities to help inform decision making
  • Reducing time, stress, money for those that need to cycle in urban areas
  • Encouraging more people to incorporate cycling into their routines

Some examples of questions that you might want to ask yourself as part of the challenge are:

  • How can we use various data sets to provide products and tools to improve cycling, and address the issues this?
  • How can we make more use of digital technologies?
  • How do we help local authorities understand how cyclists get around our towns and cities? What could make it better?
  • How can we incorporate cycling with future technologies such as connected vehicles?
  • How can local authorities better connect with cyclists, by using feedback and data from users to improve services?

Following the first round of judging, selected finalists will be invited to pitch their entry to the judging panel and an audience of event attendees at a Demo Day - as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science - where the prizes will be awarded.

In order for your entry to be considered, you must:

  • Be an individual entrant or team (with a maximum of 10 team members) based in the United Kingdom.
  • Upload your entry to our online submission system before the deadline of midnight on 1 October 2017.
  • Be available to pitch your entry to our judging panel in person at the Demo Day in Glasgow on 9 November 2017 (if selected to reach the final, the Urban Big Data Centre will cover your travel expenses - see terms and conditions for details).


The winning individual/team - as judged by our expert panel at the Demo Day - will receive the first prize of £1,000 of Amazon gift vouchers, with the runner-up individual/team winning £500 of Amazon gift vouchers.

There will also be a special People’s Choice Prize of £500 of Amazon gift vouchers, which those attending the Demo Day will vote for - do you have what it takes to impress the enthusiastic audience as well as the judging panel?

All finalists will also have their travel expenses paid to attend the Demo Day in Glasgow on 9 November.

How to enter

If you’re ready to take on the Data Challenge, the first step is to sign up to download the Strava data. Once you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions for using the data, we’ll provide you with the download along with some guidance for use. We’ve made our complete 2016 data for Glasgow, Manchester and Tyne and Wear available.



Depending on the format of your entry, you will need to be able to provide us with the link to a web-based file or a link to the files on a file sharing service, such as Dropbox, for the initial judging as well as a description of what you have created and instructions for its use.



Full details about the challenge and Demo Day will also appear on this page and via our social media channels, so don’t forget to follow us:


Remember that to enter you must comply with the terms of the Strava data agreement and be available to attend the Demo Day on 9 November in Glasgow. Please review the full terms and conditions before entering.

Good luck!

Important dates

  • 23 August 2017 - Challenge set!
  • 28 August 2017 - Online submission system open for entries
  • Midnight 1 October 2017 - Competition closes
  • 2 October 2017 - First round of judging begins
  • 20 October 2017 - Finalists notified
  • 9 November 2017 - Demo Day and prize giving

Interested in attending the Demo Day?

You can register now to become part of the Demo Day audience - It’s the Urban Big Data Centre meets Dragons' Den!

You can also find out more about the Festival of Social Science on the ESRC website.

With thanks to:

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