Open AI Caribbean Challenge: Mapping Disaster Risk from Aerial Imagery Hosted By MathWorks


Castries drone imagery


In areas like the Caribbean that face considerable risk from natural hazards like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, these forces of nature can have a devastating effect. This is especially true where houses and buildings are not up to modern construction standards, often in poor and informal settlements. While buildings can be retrofit to better prepare them for disaster, the traditional method for identifying high-risk buildings involves going door to door by foot, taking weeks if not months and costing millions of dollars.

This is where AI can help. WeRobotics and the World Bank Global Program for Resilient Housing have teamed up to prepare aerial drone imagery of buildings across the Caribbean annotated with characteristics that matter to building inspectors. One particularly relevant characteristic is roof construction material. Roof material is one of the main risk factors for earthquakes and hurricanes and a predictor of other risk factors, like building material, that are as not readily seen from the air.

In this challenge, your goal is to use provided aerial imagery to classify the roof material of identified buildings in St. Lucia, Guatemala, and Colombia. Machine learning models that are able to most accurately map disaster risk from drone imagery will help drive faster, cheaper prioritization of building inspections and target resources for disaster preparation where they will have the most impact.

Competition End Date:

Dec. 23, 2019, midnight UTC

Place Prize Amount
1st $5,000
2nd $2,000
3rd $1,000
Bonus $2,000

MathWorks employees are not eligible for prizes.

Bonus Award: Top MATLAB User

We're offering a bonus prize of $2,000 to the top contributor using MATLAB. Just make sure to fill out the Software Environment form to officially be considered for the prize.

See the MathWorks competition page for more information about complimentary software licenses and learning resources for this challenge.

Note: Recipient can also be a winner of the general prize pool.

Prize generously supplied by our friends at MathWorks.

Image courtesy of WeRobotics.