By MARGARET FOSMOE – Like Margaret on Facebook
South Bend Tribune – 9:27 p.m. EST, December 10, 2012

SOUTH BEND — Snapping and sharing photos taken at a football game, wedding or other gathering is easy.

Sharing those images with others based on location or event can be more challenging.

University of Notre Dame juniors Taylor Seale and Ryan Shea have an idea for sharing photos based on where they were shot or uploaded. First they add a pin to a mobile map showing the event location, then they add photos, then they allow others to view those images and share photos from the same event.

It’s essentially crowdsourcing photos, Seale told an audience Monday at the University of Notre Dame.

Seale, of Ogden, Utah, and Shea, of Elmhurst, Ill., won first prize Monday in the first ever Notre Dame-Schurz Innovation Prize competition for computer science and engineering students to develop digital solutions and innovations aimed at media companies. This year’s contest focused on creative mobile development.

Schurz Communications Inc. — the Mishawaka-based parent company of the South Bend Tribune and WSBT TV and Radio — made a two-year commitment of $25,000 annually toward the contest. A committee of Schurz executives and Notre Dame professors picked the top three projects from a field of six finalists.

As the top winners, Seale and Shea share a $3,500 cash award.

Their model app would allow users to share the photos on Facebook, restrict who can add photos and filter events by categories. It also could be used to display news images.

“Instead of creating a rift between conventional media and social media, we’re trying to bring them together,” Seale said.

Schurz Communications Inc. is looking for big ideas for the future of the media business, said Todd Schurz, the company’s president and chief executive officer. But a major aspect of the competition is identifying the next “big people” in the field of innovation, he said. “We want to get to know you as individuals,” Schurz told the participants.

Some of the model apps may be developed as formal business ventures.

Students David Lopes and Nathan Wickham won second place and $1,500 for their News Cloud app. The app provides the user a screen of floating words. The user highlights specific words — such as “Mishawaka” and “football” for example — pulls them into a graphic cloud, and then the screen fills with news articles containing those specific words.

Students Justin Bartlett and Eli Kloswick won third place and $1,000 for their Mobile Radio Contest app. The app allows a user to shake a smartphone, tap and instantly enter radio station contests for cash, prizes or merchandise.

Other entries involved apps that allow users to build music play lists inspired by live radio broadcasts, match college students as prospective roommates, and add user-generated information to professional news reports.

Schurz Communications funded a similar media innovation challenge for students at Indiana University in Bloomington. Those winners will be announced in early 2013. For more information, see

Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe:
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