2016 Year in Review

Overview

GovHack 2016 was the biggest GovHack yet and has established the annual event as one of the biggest government open data hackathons in the world. The 46 hour event, held on the weekend of 29-31 July, attracted over 3,000 participants to 40 locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Digital creatives formed into teams – supported by data custodians, mentors and volunteers – and combined data sets to create 437 projects including apps, websites and visualisations to compete for state, national and international prizes.

A record number of data sets (over 170) and data portals (over 40) were made available for the event.

The GovHack State Awards were sponsored by over 70?? government agencies and private companies. The national and international Red Carpet Awards were sponsored by over 30?? government agencies and private companies. IP Australia and IBM were the lead national sponsors. The hackathon was also billed as the final event in the Australian Government’s Innovation Month 2016.

GovHack 2016 culminated in the Red Carpet Awards held in Adelaide on Saturday 22 October where 69?? prizes were awarded to winning teams in 31?? categories.

The Red Carpet Awards provided an opportunity for government and private sector sponsors to recognise the teams that had used open data to create the most innovative and useful projects. The 2016 awards were also promoted as an event in South Australia’s Open State – a ten day festival exploring how open and transparent decision making, innovation and enterprise can help address challenges like transforming our economy, climate change and rapidly changing technologies.

 

Background

The first GovHack in 2009 was a government sponsored initiative from the Gov 2.0 Taskforce run by John Allsop and Web Directions.

GovHack is now an annual volunteer run international competition and community development event, which brings together technology creatives and innovators from the private, public and government sectors with government data to explore and discover new ways to help create a better society. In 46 hours hackers form teams, identify problems to solve, build working prototypes, publish their code as open source, and make a short video showing what they did and why. Projects can include web, mobile or augmented reality applications, new analysis or even 3D printed visualisations to understand data and patterns.

Key benefits of GovHack include community building, skills and capability development, and exploring how cross sector collaboration is critical for innovation by getting government in the room with civic hackers from industry, academia and the general public. GovHack is about hacking in the positive sense, civic hacking for a better world.

Over the years GovHack has inspired governments across Australia to improve how they deliver their data, to make it easier for the public to understand how governments use revenues, and to focus more attention on delivering citizen centric services. More importantly, it has provided a sandbox to engage with the community and private sector to develop skills, capability and a new way of finding solutions.

In 2016 the GovHack weekend was held from 29-31 July. This was followed by weeks of judging, State Awards and finally the GovHack Red Carpet Awards at the Mortlock Wing of the State Library in Adelaide on 22 October.

 

2016 by the numbers

GovHack has grown year on year since becoming a community driven initiative in 2012 and is now one of the biggest government open data hackathons in the world.

For the second year in a row New Zealand joined the hackathon to help establish GovHack as an international event.

The 46 hour hackathon held on the weekend of 29-31 July attracted over 3,000 participants (up from 2,200 in 2015) to over 40 locations across Australia and New Zealand (up from 31 in 2015). The gender breakdown of the participants was ??

GovHack locations included 2 maker nodes and 6 youth nodes plus a high school running an official event (Canberra Grammer – ACT).

Participants included digital entrepreneurs, app developers, game makers, data custodians, mentors, volunteers, data analysts, engineers, designers, digital media creators, filmmakers, storytellers, academics and researchers of all ages.

Digital creatives formed into teams – supported by data custodians, mentors and volunteers – and mashed data sets together to create over 430 projects (up from 270 in 2015) including apps, websites and visualisations to compete for state, national and international prizes.

The breakdown of projects were:

ACT | 50
NSW | 69
QLD | 84
TAS | 13
SA | 60
VIC | 70
WA |25
NZ | 66

A record number of data sets (over 170) and data portals (over 40) were made available for the event.

The GovHack State Awards were sponsored by over 70?? government agencies and private companies. The national and international Red Carpet Awards were sponsored by over 30?? government agencies and private companies. IP Australia and IBM were the lead national sponsors.

For the second year in a row sponsors provided over $300k?? in international, national and local prize funding as well as mentorships and co-working placements.

Over ?? project team representatives were flown to Adelaide for the national and international Red Carpet Awards in the Potteresque Mortlock Wing of the State Library in Adelaide on Saturday 22 October where 69?? prizes were awarded to winners in 31?? categories.

The breakdown of prizes were:

State | 1sts | 2nds | honourable mentions
ACT | 4 | 2 | 4
NSW | 4 | 1 | 1
QLD | 10 | 4 | 6
TAS | 0 | 1 | 1
SA | 1 | 3 | 2
VIC | 11 | 6 | 2
WA | 1 | 1 | 2
NZ | 0 | 1 | 1

Mainstream media coverage for GovHack 2016 included over 85 stories and interviews by outlets including ABC News 24, Radio National, the Daily Mail, the Advertiser and the Canberra Times. Over 15 media releases from Australian and state government ministers, local councils and GovHack itself were also generated to promote the hackathon, the Spirit of GovHack Awards, state and territory winners and the national and international Red Carpet Award winners.

Social media coverage expanded from Twitter to include a Facebook page. These two channels saw ?? retweets and ?? likes and helped drive GovHack mentions to ?? These channels also carried live video feeds and interviews from the State and the Red Carpet Awards ceremonies. 13 editions of the GovHack e-newsletter was another critical tool for communicating with GovHack participants. The instant messaging app Slack was also available to project teams to help them communicate with each other, the State teams and the Global Operations Team.

 

Prize categories

The international prize categories this year were the: Community Resilience Hack (IAG and Bureau of Meteorology); Machine Learning Hack (Google) and Storytelling Hack (Ancestry).

The national major prize categories were the: Creative Humanities Hack (ABC and Microsoft); Data Intelligence Hack – Data journalism, spatial modelling, analytics (Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Bureau of Statistics); Entrepreneurial Hack (IP Australia & IBM); Fresh Data Hack – APIs and Data Services (Australian Business Register and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science); Future Australia Hack (Department of Education and Training and Department of Employment); Innovative Ideas Hack (Australian Financial Security Authority and Queensland Government); Inspired by Research Hack (DATA61 and Australian Institite of Health and Welfare); No Boundaries Data Hack (Geoscience Australia & PSMA Australia); Paddock to Plate Hack (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development).

Other prize categories included 18 national bounty, two national team and 146 regional categories including “Spirit of GovHack Awards”.

In New Zealand there were seven national major prize and 13 national bounty prize categories.

All award categories and their sponsors were described in detail on the GovHack 2016 website.

 

Winning projects

The award wining projects at GovHack 2016 included:

  • Search Party – A smartphone app that helps co-ordinate public searches for missing people using a GPS ‘heat map’ to identify areas that have not been searched. The app combines missing person data from the ABC and the Australian Government with data from the Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Government.
  • Weather Balls – The Weather Ball is an Internet connected desk light that lets you know when the weather is taking a turn for the worse by changing colour and flashing.
  • Walks of life – An app that raises awareness of the health risks people face at different stages of their lives by taking a walk through the life of a virtual character named Sam.
  • Staying the course – Why do students drop out of tertiary education? This visualisation uses open data from the Department of Education and Training to pinpoint the risk factors and the actions needed to help students stay the course.
  • SweetSpot – What’s the best location for a new business? This visualisation can pick the best spot by combining employment, building, residential and traffic data.
  • Proximity – This smartphone app alerts drivers when they enter high risk areas for accidents using traffic accident data from the Victorian Government. It also warns truck drivers when they are approaching low bridges.
  • Greenu – Interactive posters that encourage people to hunt for vegetables in community gardens and make healthy meals. The posters combine open data from the City of Adelaide, City of Brisbane, South Australia’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, the Bureau of Meteorology and the ABC.

The award winning projects and the categories they won are described in detail on the GovHack 2016 website – including the national and international winners, the state winners and the “Spirit of GovHack” winners.

 

Red Carpet Awards

Since it’s inception in 2014, the Red Carpet Awards have become a key opportunity for government and private sector sponsors to recognise the teams that have used open data to create the most innovative and useful projects. The awards also recognise the commitment of sponsors and the hard work of volunteers involved in GovHack.

The Awards were also one of many events in the South Australian Government’s Open State – a ten day festival exploring how open and transparent decision making, innovation and enterprise can help address challenges like transforming our economy, climate change and rapidly changing technologies.

In his opening address, Craig Laundy, the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science – representing the Prime Minister – highlighted that open data was one of the keys to the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. He also launched the IP Nova app – an app initially developed at GovHack 2015 using open data from IP Australia – and read a letter from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull which paid the following tribute to Govhack:

Data without ingenuity is like a lamp without power – only when the two are connected do opportunities to innovate become clear. This is why GovHack is so important, why I am so proud over a dozen federal departments have participated this year and why I am grateful to the 850 volunteers who made it happen.”

Craig Laundy’s address was followed by an addresses from Erma Ranieri, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment representing the Government of South Australia.

Other VIPs presenting awards included:

James Jackson, Government Client Executive, IBM
Deb Anton, Deputy Director General, IP Australia
Leon Wright, Strategic Engagements, Skype for Business, Microsoft Australia
Teresa Harding, Director Open Data Policy, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Queensland Government
Peter Edwards, National Manager of Client Services, Australian Financial Services Authority
Richard Collis, Assistant Commissioner, Smarter Data, Enterprise Analytics, Australian Taxation Office
Gemma Van Halderen, General Manager, Strategy and Partnerships Division, Australian Bureau of Statistics
Sharyn Clarkson, Assistant Secretary Online Services, Dept of Finance
Mark Groote, South Australian State Manager, Delivery and Engagement Group, Department of Employment and Training
Professor Andrew Lowe, University of Adelaide and Associate Science Director of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network
Adam Malone, Senior Solutions Architect – Asia Pacific & Japan, Acquia Australia
Lesley Seebeck, Chief Information Officer, Bureau of Meteorology
Karen Moore, Area Manager, WFI
Lesley Seebeck, Chief Information Officer, Bureau of Meteorology

Photos from the Red Carpet Awards, video interviews with guests and a live stream of the event are available on the GovHack 2016 website and the GovHack Facebook page??

 

What worked well – plus room for improvement

This year’s Hacker Survey found that… ??

In 2014 we added a GovHack DataRater so project teams could give us feedback on the data they used. This year we provided the platform for feedback again. The best rated data so far was provided by??

 

The volunteers!

850 dedicated volunteers helped organise and run GovHack 2016 (up from 160?? in 2015). These volunteers included mentors, data custodians, state managers and hosts, state media liaison – and a Global Operations Team that coordinated national sponsorship, the national competition, the GovHack website and Hackerspace, mainstream and social media.

State operations teams included:

Susan Hey – ACT State Manager
Katherina Drinkuth – QLD State Manager
Alex Keay – SA State Manager
James Riggall – TAS State Manager
Dushyant Sattiraju – VIC State Manager
Timothy Sondalini – WA State Manager
Geoffrey Huntley – NSW State Manager
Tim Sinclair – NSW Volunteer Coordinator
Angela Bee Chan – GovHack Sydney Host
Matthew Purcell – GovHack Canberra Host Matthew Purcell
Katie Hannan – VIC State Media Liaison
Joseph Pham – NSW State Media Liaison

The Global Operations Team included:

Richard Tubb – National Director, Operations Manager
Jan Bryson – Sponsorship Director, Finance Director
Alysha Thomas – Competition Director
Keith Moss – Data Director
Kevin Keith – Marketing and Communications Director
Tim Laris – National Media Liaison
Sonali Tharwani – Project Support
Alex Sadleir – Technical Director
Alan Yeung – Digital Media Producer
Jun Qiao – Digital Media Producer
James White – Digital Artist
Jensen Mang – Community Engagement Director
Gavin Tapp – That Guy Supremo
Diana Ferry – Logistics Coordinator

The New Zealand team included:

Cherie Ellis –

 

The Sponsors!

Over 100 sponsors kindly provided data sets, prizes and in kind support for GovHack 2016. These sponsors included:

International Sponsors:
Ancestry, Google and IAG

Australian National Sponsors:
Lead Agency – IP Australia
Lead Sponsor – IBM

Red Carpet Award Sponsors:
Government of South Australia
Open State

Gold Sponsors:
Microsoft
Acquia
PSMA Australia

Silver Sponsors:
DLA Piper
Amazon Web Services
AARNET

National sponsors:
Department of Education and Training
Australian Taxation Office
Department of Finance
Department of Employment
Department of Meteorology
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Australian Business Register
Geoscience Australia
Australian Financial Security Authority
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
ABC
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Data 61
CSIRO
Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network
Atlas of Living Australia
NCI
RDS
Nectar
Queensland Government

National supporter:
Department of the Prime Mininster and Cabinet

Foundation sponsors:
eGovCluster
Data 61
CSIRO

New South Wales
Premier Sponsor:
NetApp

Gold Sponsor:
NSW Government
City of Sydney
Parramatta City Council

In-kind Sponsors:
Stone & Chalk
Snappr

Queensland
State Awards Rights and Premier Sponsor:
Queensland Government

Platinum Sponsors:
Brisbane City
Logan City Council

Gold Sponsors:
Tatta Group

Bronze Sponsors:
XVT
QUT
University of the Sunshine Coast

In-kind sponsors:
ClickDish
The Space
River City Labs
ODI Queensland
SL The Edge

South Australia
Premier Sponsors:
Microsoft
Business SA

Premier Sponsors:
Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Gold Sponsors:
Adelaide City Council
MAC
Department of State Development
News Corp Australia
Department for Education and Child Development

Silver Sponsors:
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Attorney-General’s Department
Chiliad Consulting

In-kind Sponsors:
ACS

Victoria
State Awards Naming Rights Sponsors:
Victoria State Government

Gold Sponsors:
Salsa Digital
News Corp Australia

Silver Sponsors:
City of Melbourne
MAV Technology

Bronze Sponsors:
Local Government Spatial Referance Group
Wyndham City

In-kind Spopnsors:
Towards Zero TAC

Western Australia
Gold Sponsors:
Insurance Commission of Western Australia
Department of Fisheries
Department of Local Government and Communities
Water Corporation
Main Raods Western Australia
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
News Corp Australia
Housing Authority
Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
Office of the Government Chief Information Officer
State Library of western Australia
Spur
Uniting Care West

Tasmania
Platinum Sponsors:
Tasmanian Government

Gold Sponsors:
TasmaNet

Silver Sponsors:
Glenorchy City
TASICT
City of Hobart
ACS

Bronze Sponsors:
Bitlink
SSSi TAS
Eaglecrest Technologies
Sense-T
WalkerDesigns
41st Degree Software

ACT
Gold Sponsors:
Environment and Planning
Park CBR

Silver Sponsors:
Oakton
CBR Innovation Network

Bronze Sponsors:
Liferay

New Zealand
Silver and National Sponsors
Statistics New Zealand
Qlik

 

Financial overview

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GovHack 2017 and spreading the spirit of GovHack

GovHack will be back in 2017 on the weekend of 28-30 July.

Until then we encourage teams that participated in GovHack 2016 to stay connected with their community through the GovHack Facebook page and their local maker space, open source project and open knowledge chapter. We also encourage teams to check out the broader startup and incubator landscape if they are interested in professionalising their hacks.