The event features registered computer programmers and
software developers putting their IT skills to use to turn data provided by
government agencies into useful apps that people can use in everyday life.
GovHack, which has been held annually since 2011 across Australia and New
Zealand, features teams of around four to five designers, developers, analysts,
testers and storytellers will use open data sets to solve problems, visualise
information and create applications.
Each team also has to create a three-minute video. At the end of the weekend,
teams are scored based on the product they complete. Last year prizes worth over
$120,000 was up for grabs.
Andrew Downie - Manager Digital, Information and Technology at City of Greater Geelong
"GovHack provided the opportunity for solutions to be found within existing data.
"The opportunity to have a specialised fresh set of eyes go over existing data can produce some innovative
ideas and solutions".
"Both local experts, along with
participants from across Australia and New Zealand, will sift through the data
and also respond to some specific challenges that we have set and may come up
with apps that will make our everyday life easier and improve Council
Free Geelong Wi-Fi project
A good example of the innovative solutions created at GovHack is from
one of last year’s winning teams - Deakin University students Daniel McCarthy
and Parham Hausler, whose hack was to design an app that maps all the free
Wi-Fi in the City of Greater Geelong.
data for us is about lots of opportunities to test our skills explore potential
projects that the data owners don’t have time to do, and show others what can
be achieved,” said Daniel McCarthy.
Free Geelong Wi-Fi project gave us a chance to extend the original GovHack idea
and produce a real outcome for the community," Mr Downie said.
The application is now available for the community at www.freewifigeelong.net.au. The map is constantly being added to and businesses
that provide free Wi-Fi can register to be included.
"This is a great opportunity for businesses to advertise to their
customers an additional feature of their business," Mr Downie said.
Geelong Open Data Portal
Another initiative from Digital Geelong in time for GovHack is the launch of the Geelong Open Data Portal.
"Located at this portal
can bring all of Geelong’s open data together in one location," Mr Downie said.
"We encourage any and all organisations to open up data, and this site
can accommodate so much more then just City of Greater Geelong datasets."
The City of Greater Geelong has released 105 data sets providing
information on events, WiFi, pet information, street trees, public BBQ
locations, garbage collection zones and other facilities and services.