Divvy handed them the data, and they gave it back as a dating website.
A team of five Chicago developers has won the award for most creative presentation of the bike-sharing company's data in the Divvy Data Challenge. Issued in February, the challenge asked Chicago hackers, developers and creatives to take the raw ridership data from 2013 and create a visualization.
Many of the entries focused solely on numbers, but the Gravity Tank team -- a Chicago-based innovation consulting firm -- wanted to do something different. So they created Serendivvity.
"It's a satire of a dating website," Alex Killough, one of the team members, said. "The idea is that you go there, say you're looking for 'dames or dudes,' enter your neighborhood and it will tell you the best time to find them at a Divvy station."
The team did this by taking the genders of registered Divvy users, displaying the maximum number of a particular gender at a given location, and giving an average age. For example, the station at Roscoe Street and Seely Avenue in Roscoe Village maxes out at 76 riders on average at 6 p.m., with an average age of 36 years old.
More than just a dating site, Serendivvity provides larger insight. "The other, more real use is you can start to see patterns based on age and more importantly gender," he said.
The team said they didn't expect to win, and have been surprised at the reaction to people outside their team who have used their project. Sabella Flagg, another team member, said she has heard offers from others who want to make additional features for the site.
"It really hit me last night," she said of the win, which was announced Tuesday. "Actually seeing other people using [the site] and being excited about it makes me excited."
Other members of the team include Theresa Stewart, Stephen Menton and Craig Clark, who will share the prizes, which include t-shirts, helmets, Divvy memberships and having their work on display at tech hub 1871 during the month of April.