The Understanding Risk (UR) Community and GFDRR in partnership with Mapbox and the Data Visualization Society

If seeing is believing, how can we see disaster risk? We invite you to explore how maps and visualization techniques can help citizens and governments better understand and use data on natural hazards, exposure, and vulnerability.  

Explore what’s possible using innovative interactive mapping tools in this four-part challenge:

The Challenge

Flooding in Monrovia, landslides in Nepal, hurricane winds in the Caribbean – disaster risks are varied and complex. Let data and creativity guide you to create a compelling, map-based data visualization to inspire the future of risk communication. We have added a new location with fresh data: urban flooding in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Explore what’s possible in this four part challenge:

Details on the four parts of the challenge, and supporting resources.

What is disaster risk? And where do you find risk data? Learn more here.

Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 15 July 2019 (11:59pm EDT) using this form:


Completing the challenge gives you the opportunity to win the following prizes and participate in a learning community of fellow data visualization and risk data professionals.

Grand prize (1):

  • Free registration ticket to UR2020 in Singapore (May 18 – 22, 2020). The 2020 Understanding Risk Forum will bring together risk experts and practitioners representing dozens of sectors and more than 100 countries. Featuring an exhibition on risk visualization.
  • Free hotel accommodation in Singapore during the main conference of UR2020
  • Up to US$2,000.00 towards travel costs to attend UR2020.

Category prizes (9):

  • Submission showcased at UR2020 in Singapore (May 18 – 22, 2020);
  • Spotlight posts on the Understanding Risk and Mapbox websites and social media accounts;
  • US$500.00 coupon for Mapbox services;
  • Custom swag packages; and
  • Award Certificate signed by Understanding Risk.

All complete submissions:

  • Certificate of completion signed by Understanding Risk
  • Inclusion in Understanding Risk’s roster of Risk Visualizers (optional)

Get started

  • Share ideas, questions, and resources with peers and mentors in the #challenge-vizrisk channel in the Data Visualization Society Slack (join now).
  • 22 May 2019 — Webinar: Creating map-based data visualizations, presented by Lo Benichou, resident data visualization specialist at Mapbox. Register
  • 29 May 2019 — Webinar: Analyzing and communicating risk data, presented by Stu Fraser, Senior Disaster Risk Management Consultant and Simone Balog-Way, Disaster Risk Management Analyst from the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Register
  • 4 June 2019 — Supporting event: Hands-on building and mentoring event in San Francisco, California, USA (with live video link for remote participants) Register
  • 5 June 2019 — Supporting event: Hands-on building and mentoring event in Washington D.C., USA (with live video link for remote participants). Register now!

For full challenge rules, eligibility, and evaluation process, see the Official Rules.


The 2019 VizRisk Challenge is sponsored by the Labs team of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) hosted by the World Bank Group, in partnership with Mapbox and the Data Visualization Society.

Flood Risk in the UK (source: Mapbox)