This site was developed to support the Government 2.0 Taskforce, which operated from June to December 2009. The Government responded to the Government 2.0 Taskforce's report on 3 May 2010. As such, comments are now closed but you are encouraged to continue the conversation at agimo.govspace.gov.au.

Your Invitation to MashUpAustralia

2009 September 30
by Mia Garlick

Today the Government 2.0 Taskforce is launching its MashupAustralia contest that we blogged about earlier here and here. To fuel your innovative mashup juices, around 59 datasets from the Australian and State and Territory Governments have been released at data.australia.gov.au on license terms and in formats that permit and enable mashup. The contest will begin accepting entries next week on 7 October 2009 and close on 6 November 2009.

You can enter as an individual or as a team. Anyone who is an Australian resident/citizen is eligible for prizes (teams must have at least one Australian resident/citizen as a member).

Over 15 Australian Government agencies have released data as diverse as Australian Federal Electoral Boundaries, Location of Centrelink Offices and World Heritage Areas in Australia. Through the Online Communications Council’s Digital Economy Group, State and Territory Governments have released datasets such as Surface Water Gauging Stations Queensland, South Australian Boat Ramp Locator and ACT – Barbecue (BBQ) Locations. There are cultural collections and plenty of quirky datasets too!

All datasets are released on license terms that permit and enable mashup (e.g., Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Attribution license) and in formats such as CSV and XML.

Prizes include:
• $10,000 for Excellence in Mashing category
• $5,000 for Highly Commendable Mashups
• $2,500 for Notable Mashing Achievements

In addition, we are also offering some additional prizes for the following categories:
• $2,000 for the People’s Choice Mashup prize
• $2,000 for the Best Student entry
• $1,000 bonuses awarded for the data transformations

We may even award more than one prize for each category if we are overwhelmed by quality mashups.

We are thrilled to have a starting panel of expert judges including Mark Pesce, Futurist/Author/Judge of ABC’s “New Inventors”; Nathan Yergler, Creative Commons Chief Technology Officer; Abigail Thomas, Head of Strategic Development, ABC Innovation, ABC; Regina Kraayenbrink, Web Futures Strategy Team, Australian Bureau of Statistics; and Seb Chan Head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum (and Taskforce member).

More information about the contest can be found on the About page and in the Contest Rules.

Remember, this is a prototype in many ways for Australian governments to do this type of thing and we are looking forward to learning as we go. We welcome your feedback either through the blog or via the contest site or wherever you choose to share your views. We do hope, however, that your use of the data, your feedback and nature of community engagement will be in keeping with the spirit of the contest, namely to showcase the benefits of open access to public sector information.

In the meantime, happy mashing and we can’t wait to see what you create…

28 Responses
  1. 2009 September 30

    This is great and I will at least have a think about what interesting stuff could be done here but I’m going to do my broken record routine (or at least what feels like it over the last week or so).

    Please don’t use Creative Commons licences for data (with the exception of ccZero). They really aren’t useful when applied to data, collections of data, or databases (see Creative Commons themselves on this). While saying CC-BY makes it reasonably clear what you would like people to do, what you’ve done from a legal perspective is (probably) release the data in unlicenced form. The best approach for promoting re-use of data is ccZero or PDDL but whatever the choice the most important thing is to actually use something that is applicable to data.

    Cheers

    Cameron

    • 2009 September 30
      Mia Garlick permalink

      Hey Cameron,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not sure I agree with the statement “what you’ve done from a legal perspective is (probably) release the data in unlicenced form” — that statement seems to be based on an assumption that copyright does not subsist in the datasets. Certainly in Australia, even in the wake of the IceTV decision I think that’s a dubious call to make. And certainly, to the extent cczero and/or the PPD involves a waiver of copyright and/or certification of an absence of copyright, I don’t think that is what any of the au government agencies participating in this contest wanted to do. They wanted to make data available as part of the contest to learn by doing and to promote innovative uses and reuses of their data so that we can all learn from this. However, I welcome your legal assessment of which of the released datasets are now unlicensed by being released under the CC BY license.

      Of course, if your suggestion is that as part of national information/open access policies, Governments in countries in which Crown Copyright subsists, should waive copyright in their data and/or dedicate it to the public domain, it would be useful to understand your views. I note in the case of the UK’s Power of Information Report, this was not the approach that was recommended (indeed, my recollection is that not even CC licenses were recommended) and the current NZ Open Data Framework does not recommend cczero. But welcome your considered views as to why Australian government agencies in particular should adopt a cczero approach in preference to a CC BY license approach…

  2. 2009 September 30

    Hi Mia

    Thanks for the comment. I should point out that I am not a lawyer and know relatively little about copyright law although I know a reasonable amount about the consequences of data licensing. I should also point out that I seem to have been having arguments about this all week, which I can’t say I enjoy very much – licensing is so boring – so I apologize if I was a little terse.

    I think there are two quite separate issues here and it is both helpful and important to keep them separate. The first is the issue of using licences or waivers that are appropriate for data. In terms of the use of Creative Commons licences I rely mostly on the strong advice from Creative Commons themselves that CC-BY (NC/ND etc) are not appropriate for data or collections of data.

    The main reason behind this is that it is very unclear when and how copyright law applies to data and collections or representations of data. In the US copyright mostly doesn’t apply to basic data and there are no database rights. In Europe things are less clear and there are database rights. I don’t really know what the situation is in Australia, but the case you refer to seems to point towards more potential confusion over where the boundaries lie. Also if there are database rights in Australia, then they haven’t been licenced or waived via the CC-BY licence.

    As to which datasets might be “effectively unlicensed” that would depend on a close understanding of Australian copyright case law which I can’t claim to have. I would guess that most data points themselves are not copyright, database schemas and organizations may well be, and representations probably are. Where the data themselves represent a creative act, images, written text, etc they may be copyright or parts of them may be copyright. The problem is I don’t know where it starts and finishes – and I suspect no-one else does either. I know enough to know that I can’t be sure, that it may actually depend on where I use the data (where does the copying act take place?).

    The key point is that it is best to use licences intended for and designed for data when making them available. This protects both the user and, if rights are to be retained, the data provider. The problem is that there are very few good data licences apart from those that are intended to place data in the public domain. ccZero and PDDL do a good job, the Open Database Licence is designed for data, but most of the special licences which retain rights are not going to be helpful in encouraging mashups – which is the laudable aim here. This is a failure of the legal infrastructure rather than policy though. Its actually legally difficult to create obligations, especially across differen jurisdictions, where there isn’t a copyright.

    My concern is that at some point someone is going to get caught out by this. Either someone will suddenly discover they don’t actually have the rights to use data that they thought they did (e.g. if for instance a database right not covered by copyright becomes important, or some of the data included couldn’t be re-licenced the way it was) or someone has released data thinking they have protected it properly against some particular use and then discover they have no such protection under law. The issue is complicated and confusing as it is without some poor person getting badly burnt in public. So regardless of what decisions are taken about what control the data provider wants I would always advise using a licence specifically designed to deal with data.

    The question of policy as regards data release is quite a separate one. Here we are less constrained, at least in principle, by the legal framework and can argue about what we would like to happen. Figuring out the details of how might be a challenge but we can worry about that later. I would argue for public domain but then I am a strong open data advocate – even an extremist – so obviously I would say that.

    To flesh out my end of the argument. The purpose of releasing the data is so that people can use it. Once it has been released there is no effective way of getting it back again so we may as well optimise the system to make it clear that re-use and re-purposing is encouraged. People tend to use CC-BY because they want to make it clear that this is what they want to happen. Given that CC-BY provides no control over the end use, copying, or re-purposing of works, and that it is irrevocable I am not sure that in practical terms it offers any advantage over a public domain dedication. At the same time it removes any confusion over what rights are covered as discussed above.

    In the NZ Open Data Framework you link above it says:

    “So far as non-copyright information is concerned, NZGOAL recommends the use of clear ‘no-known rights’ statements, to provide certainty for people wishing to re-use that information.”

    This is more or less exactly what ccZero is for – making that @no rights” statement so I would agree strongly with that document. I would only add that, wherever there is doubt about whether there is a copyright then it is better to err on the side of making a no rights statement. Personally I go further and put copyright works into the Public Domain as well wherever I can but that is a personal choice and I understand it is taking things a bit far.

    So in summary – my concern over use of CC-BY is that it has the potential to cause confusion by appearing to be clear but actually not necessarily providing either the rights or the protections that either of us thinks it does.

    I am a strong believer that published public data should be in the public domain as a matter of principle but additionally from a practical perspective if the decision has been taken to make data available and the object is to enable re-use then ccZero (or any other public domain dedication) make the users rights clear and doesn’t seem to me to lead to any further loss of control than CC-BY already does while providing much more clarity. But I would be interested to know what benefits are perceived to arise from retaining copyright.

  3. 2009 September 30
    Mia Garlick permalink

    Hey Cameron,

    One implicit assumption on which I think your argument rests is that a CC license is a mere copyright license and not a contract, something I should have raised in my first post. I’m aware that some within the FOSS and CC communities argue/believe that the FOSS and CC licenses are mere licenses and not contracts, but I must confess, I’m not convinced by that argument (and last time I checked, there were a few skeptics within the CC international legal community too). So to the extent that your argument is that the CC BY license is valid if and only if copyright subsists in the dataset then, I would respectfully disagree that that is a foregone conclusion.

    Fwiw, Australia doesn’t have the sui generis protection for databases that Europe does, nor does it have the spark of creativity/higher threshold that applies in the US. We have traditionally adopted a much lower sweat of the brow threshold, originating from the UK, which is why, even if you subscribe to your “copyright or unlicensed” theory, it’s quite challenging to argue in Australia with respect to most datasets.

    In general, I find your argument quite confusing — you are calling cczero and pdd “licenses” (based on copyright or contract? or I thought you said that the Au data was probably now unlicensed?) that are purposefully built for data, when as I understand it, cczero acts as a waiver and then in default a license (similar a CC license) and pdd attempts to waive copyright/dedicate the work to the public domain (and the history of development within CC suggests it wasn’t purposefully built for data). So I am at a loss to understand why a waiver is purposefully built for/better data and a CC BY license is not, particularly if you don’t subscribe to the CC license=mere license theory…..because it may be difficult to identify precisely where the copyright line is drawn? isn’t that the nature of law generally and copyright law in particular here? where exactly does the idea/expression dictohomy fall in how characters and plotlines are described in a book?

    Doesn’t this get down to — what does the rights/data owner want to do? If they want to retain some ownership or control of their data (e.g., by requiring attribution), then a document that seeks to waive all rights (whether in copyright or contract), doesn’t seem to be a suitable document for them? My understanding of CC has always been about giving people the choice about how they want to manage their rights. As you say, “Personally I go further and put copyright works into the Public Domain as well wherever I can but that is a personal choice”….

    Isn’t that what we are arguing about here — you personally would choose to waiver or dedicate to the public domain all copyright and/or noncopyright materials, which is a perfectly valid opinion to have but the Australian government agencies here have not chosen that option but have instead chosen CC BY? It will be interesting to see if any of the people who mashup the data, participate in the contest and assist the Australian government in practically and strategically identifying issues and challenges to adopting an open access policy, consider the CC BY more limiting than a cczero or pdd approach. Similarly, it will be interesting to see if any of the participating agencies feel that their objectives would have been better realised by attempting to waive all rights.

    In the meantime, maybe we should stop boring people with licensing talk and go help @chieftech figure out how the Palmerston Medicare office wound up in West Africa

    • 2009 September 30

      Agreed, there are more important things to be worrying about :-) If you’ve got the time though I’d be keen to get to the bottom of this offline because I’m now more confused than when I started WRT the licence/contract issue and the intentions vs what they are in practice and how that might differ across jurisdictions. I can see that would have a significant impact on copyright coverage and effect.

    • 2009 October 5

      Hi Mia (long time no speak!),

      I just wanted to follow up this thread — though I know it deals with “boring” licensing issues. Like Cameron I’d be more than happy to take this up off-line if that were better (please drop me an email — my last email address for you is a CC one which I assume is no longer operational).

      Rather than express an opinion here I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the work Open Data Commons has been doing to produce data(base)-specific open licenses (the motivation here is that CC licenses which are designed for content don’t map well to data — just as CC’s existence was motivated by the fact that open-source licenses for code weren’t appropriate for content …).

      Over the last couple of years ODC has developed and released 1.0 versions of:

      The Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL) – as the name suggests this puts the material in the public domain.

      The Open Database License (ODbL) – this is “Attribution, Share-Alike” for data.

      These licenses have been specifically design to work with data and databases and the rights that may exist therein (whether sui generis or otherwise). The licenses have been designed for international applicability but we’d obviously be very interested to have any feedback on the situation vis-a-vis Australia.

      On a second point, (as should be clear) neither of the current ODC licenses is a pure attribution license. However, ODC is considering developing one (this would be fairly easy — the hard work was done for the ODbL!), and it sounds like there is a need for such a license. Going forward would this be of any interest within the Australian context?

  4. 2009 September 30

    Hi Mia,

    Some questions for the Taskforce around Mashup Australia – they get progressively harder (but are all friendly!)

    1) The Mashup Australia site says that content is licensed under Attribution 2.5 Australia – however the site doesn’t specify the manner in which content needs to be attributed (which is a criteria in the license). I hope my use of the site logo as a badge in eGovAU is acceptably attributed. BTW note that my blog suffers from the same issue of not explaining how to attribute – which I’ll have to rectify.

    2) Has the Taskforce considered creating a few widgets people can add to blogs and sites to promote Mashup Australia? It’s not hard to do, increases the reach of the initiative and be designed to showcase the mashups and support vote links (for peoples’ choice).

    3) Are there likely to be further datasets released during the course of the competition? Or will the Taskforce restrict it to datasets released prior to the competition?

    4) Will there be any cross-over with the datasets NSW is releasing for Apps4NSW. Can those datasets also be used in Mashup Australia? Equally – not so much a question for the Taskforce, but can any NSW data in datasets released in data.australia.gov.au be used in Apps4NSW. I don’t know how much co-ordination or conversation is going on between you.

    5) Can companies enter the Mashup competition? I’m talking about major technology vendors, news media, etc.

    6) Are pre-existing mashups which simply substitute a dataset from the data.australia.gov.au site eligible for the competition, or must they be newly built for the competition? (this is different to an ownership question – but becomes important where mashups used in the US and UK may be re-purposed for this competition by the original o/s developers plus an Aussie to meet the terms of the competition)

    7) Will there by a system added to data.australia.gov.au to link to mashups? Both those submitted through the competition and subsequently (assuming the site doesn’t close down at the end of the year – see next Q… the biggie!)

    8) The big hairy question – are the datasets going to remain available after the Taskforce ends, and are processes being put in place for data.australia.gov.au to be a continuing and growing government initiative? Or does it disappear at the end of this year with the Taskforce?

    • 2009 September 30

      Note that the 8) is actually supposed to be 8 followed by a ) – the emoticon system you’re using converts it, it’s not me choosing the emoticon.

    • 2009 October 1
      Mia Garlick permalink

      Ok, I’ll have a go at answering them…

      1) The Mashup Australia site says that content is licensed under Attribution 2.5 Australia – however the site doesn’t specify the manner in which content needs to be attributed (which is a criteria in the license). I hope my use of the site logo as a badge in eGovAU is acceptably attributed. BTW note that my blog suffers from the same issue of not explaining how to attribute – which I’ll have to rectify.

      –> mia: good catch, we’ll update the copyright statement. In the meantime, BY Govt 2.0 Taskforce works for us.

      2) Has the Taskforce considered creating a few widgets people can add to blogs and sites to promote Mashup Australia? It’s not hard to do, increases the reach of the initiative and be designed to showcase the mashups and support vote links (for peoples’ choice).

      –> mia: we’ve included “share buttons” for the social networks that we thought people were most likely to want to use. If there’s one that you would like that isn’t there, let us know and we will add it. At this stage, we’re unlikely to have the capacity ourselves to develop any widgets so — in the true spirit of Web 2.0 — would welcome any widgets that the community builds that we can include on the site for others to use and get the word out…

      3) Are there likely to be further datasets released during the course of the competition? Or will the Taskforce restrict it to datasets released prior to the competition?

      –> mia: as we note on the data sources page — Data.australia.gov.au will be updated with additional datasets as they are received, so check back regularly or monitor the latest datasets feed.

      We won’t be making the same push for datasets during the contest that we made in the lead up to the contest. There are a few outstanding requests for data that have not yet been responded to so we may add more but at this stage, we can’t foreshadow whether and what additional data may be released….@Jeffery Candiloro I think this answers your question too; happy to take suggestions on board but can’t predict or promise results at this stage…

      4) Will there be any cross-over with the datasets NSW is releasing for Apps4NSW. Can those datasets also be used in Mashup Australia? Equally – not so much a question for the Taskforce, but can any NSW data in datasets released in data.australia.gov.au be used in Apps4NSW. I don’t know how much co-ordination or conversation is going on between you.

      –> mia: we’ve been co-ordinating and conversing with our colleagues running the nsw4apps contest and we each want to support each other’s efforts. For the mashupau contest, you only need to include one of the datasets from data.australia.gov.au so could easily mashup data that is released for the nsw4apps contest as well. I’ll see if I can get someone involved with the nsw4apps contest to post a comment about whether and how their rules may allow you to cross use an app with NSW data from this contest in theirs…

      We don’t have the ability to directly cross link data sets between data.australia.gov.au and data.nsw.gov.au, but cross promotion is possible. A promo message for mashupaustralia.org is being added to data.australia.gov.au today, and we could take a similar approach for data.nsw.gov.au (when it is available).

      5) Can companies enter the Mashup competition? I’m talking about major technology vendors, news media, etc.

      –> mia: yes, but remember we need an Australian connection

      6) Are pre-existing mashups which simply substitute a dataset from the data.australia.gov.au site eligible for the competition, or must they be newly built for the competition? (this is different to an ownership question – but becomes important where mashups used in the US and UK may be re-purposed for this competition by the original o/s developers plus an Aussie to meet the terms of the competition)

      –> mia: there is no rule requiring apps to be newly built, but remember, originality is one of the judging criteria

      7) Will there by a system added to data.australia.gov.au to link to mashups? Both those submitted through the competition and subsequently (assuming the site doesn’t close down at the end of the year – see next Q… the biggie!)

      –> mia: the contest site will link to all mashuos once we start accepting entries next week. We have set up RSS feeds for the mashup entries and comments – the links for these RSS feeds are already on mashupaustralia.org so you can subscribe to them in advance if you would like….
      8) The big hairy question – are the datasets going to remain available after the Taskforce ends, and are processes being put in place for data.australia.gov.au to be a continuing and growing government initiative? Or does it disappear at the end of this year with the Taskforce?

      –> mia: ah yes, the big question. These datasets have been released for the purpose of the contest. The current intention is that they will remain available after the contest and the taskforce ends. Whether they continue to be updated or added to depends on how well we (the community and the taskforce) do our jobs of demonstrating that open access to PSI is a good thing….

  5. 2009 October 1
    Jeffery Candiloro permalink

    G’Day Mia,

    Is it possible to request that the taskforce seek other datasets related to those already released? For example, electoral boundary data has been released but not the lists of details of the sitting members.

    BTW – fantastic competition!

    • 2009 October 1
      Nicholas Gruen permalink

      If we have the resources we should do that, though if one is lucky enough to get the data it can still take a while to get it. So you and others should feel free to make suggestions.

  6. 2009 October 1
    Kerry Webb permalink

    Can you provide contact information for the datasets supplied.

    For instance, being able to get in touch with an area at NAA about the Mildenhall Collection would enable a mashupper to get some more information about the resource and perhaps what’s already being done with it.

  7. 2009 October 1

    Regarding the above discussion of licenses/legal tools for data, you may be interested in the following guide:

    http://wiki.okfn.org/OpenDataLicensing#Australia

    The Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project contributed the section on Australia. It would be great to update this with relevant developments.

  8. 2009 October 1

    Give a person a hammer, and all data starts looking like an opportunity to get attribution.

    For ages now we have been creating knowledge in academia and giving it away, expecting, but not contractually requiring recognition. The norms of our disciplines have ensured that ripping off someone else’s work without giving due credit gets censure that is worse than any contractual penalty could ever be. Ask yourself — what would you rather? loss of face or some penalty that your contract provides for?

    Let’s look at it another way — if you have CC-BY data, and I take it but don’t give you any attribution (because I am just a prick and don’t want to give you attribution, and because norms wash off me like water off a duck), what is it exactly that you are going to do to me? Come after me with what? If your data are really worth any money, sure, bind it in a contract and wrap it in a license and track it with a beacon to make sure you get your pound of flesh. But otherwise, it is just pointless.

    Let’s not even get into the issue that contracts apply only between the two parties that agree to the contract. So, if you agree to the contract with the original data provider, and then give the data to me without any contract, heck, I am bound by no contract at all.

    Isn’t it just better to let the normative processes of our disciplines, our society and tradition, guide our actions?

    • 2009 October 1
      Nicholas Gruen permalink

      Puneet, I have to admit to a lot of sympathy with what you’re arguing. If a private individual wants recognition and demands it in return for the use of their IP, that’s fair enough. But why government agencies?

      I haven’t pressed the point, and doubt I will because in my experience, the agencies that do ‘get’ the need to set their data free are proud of what they’re doing and want the recognition. So it doesn’t seem to me to be particularly worthwhile to press the point, when I’m trying to get so much other government content into CC. If it ends up CCBY then worse things have happened. It is certainly a pity we have such a weak tradition of the public domain compared with the US. No wonder they’re way ahead of us on PSI.

  9. 2009 October 1

    So, if not CC-BY for data then what? I should have mentioned that I am in the “use ccZero or PDDL waiver for public data” camp. Licenses are more appropriate for creative content, and contract useful when you actually want something in return and can enforce a payback if you don’t get the return.

  10. 2009 October 2
    S Wan permalink

    Great work so far in making the data available! Just a comment: While many of the data sets available are fairly intuitive, some data sets might need a little bit of documentation. Just taking a random example, the data set entitled: “Cycling in New South Wales: What the data tells us” and related data seems like a really nice data set given the title. However, when I open up the spreadsheet however, the contents and their semantics are not so intuitive. I’m left guessing at what abbreviated column names and filenames refer to.

    Perhaps a brief outline about what a data set contains, how it’s laid out, and what software is required would be useful for participants. I do realise that there’s probably a trade-off in terms of getting all the documentation just right versus making data available early for community participation. However, maybe data contributors can incrementally update the web pages with documentation. Otherwise, data is really only useful for “people in the know”.

    • 2009 October 4

      Yes this is a common problem in government and usually one of the reasons used as to why data “shouldn’t be released” – the argument being, only those in the know will be able to “understand it”.

      For open PSI to work we need to start government agencies thinking that their data needs to be structured in a way that is understandable by third-parties. But this process takes time (and resources, at least initially) and needs examples like the Cycling data you’ve cited above to demonstrate the need.

      On the flip side, these examples are useful to illustrate the highly variable quality of data created and collected by government agencies.

      • 2009 October 5

        Seb,

        The process for providing context to data is similar to making notes in programming code, so other programmers understand the logic – or making file notes on conversations – or recording processes and job descriptions so anyone can understand the role.

        There’s a long tradition of the public service being diligent in documenting its activities as a risk mitigation approach and to ensure that appropriate records are kept for governance purposes.

        If providing context to data was coached in similar terminology – making it contextually clear to people 30 years from now – and made a criteria of appropriate record keeping for government (the record has to be stored in a form that is accessible, discoverable and UNDERSTANDABLE into the future) I think we’d see less obfuscation.

        It would also help government run smoother – people across departments and over time would understand and be able to apply data series appropriately, leading to better policy and service outcomes.

  11. 2009 October 2
    Kylie Pappalardo permalink

    On the copyright licensing of data issue (i.e. whether CC-BY or CC zero is more appropriate), I would see the slideset from Professor Anne Fitzgerald’s presentation at the ANDS Roadshow on Wednesday, available here: http://www.aupsi.org/presentations/CopyrightandData.jsp

    She makes some important point about the merits (or not) of a “no rights” approach to data.

  12. 2009 October 7

    1. Will there be any more information about the judging criteria / process? Specifically we are looking at creating a mashup for the competition but do we go for cutting edge Silverlight / Flash RIA or for more main stream and boring HTML ?

    Quality and design (including standards compliance)

    2. Will we get marked down or disqualified for using the latest RIA plugin (likely that the judges may not have installed yet) eg Flash 10 or Silverlight 3 ?

    3. Are you looking for interesting concepts or completed polished sites? Do we put our effort into the ideas or into the plumbing?

    4. Will their be any feedback cycle? For example if we submit our mashup early and we have done something that would disqualify us will you let us know so we could remove that data or fix the attribution? (This could provide an incentive to submit entries earlier)

    • 2009 October 7

      John

      1. You are welcome to make a Silverlight or Flash RIA but if you do you need to ensure that it does things that require those technologies. You could even use Processing. Uniqueness, purpose and usefulness (either for citizens, organisations or government) will probably, in the judges eyes, trump visual design.

      2. The judges will be using modern browsers with current Flash, Silverlight etc – don’t worry, we won’t be using standard issue Government SOEs with IE6!

      3. Fully working ideas which demonstrate usefulness will trump run of the mill polished mashups. It does have to work though – an idea alone is not enough. If programming is tricky then I’d suggest forming or joining a team.

      4. We will not be giving feedback before judging begins but you are welcome to resubmit your applications at anytime up to the closing date and time. Bear in mind that other mashup people and interested parties *will* be looking at the submitted mashups as they come in and may give useful feedback which allows you to improve and iterate your work before the closing date. (Judges won’t be leaving comments before the closing date though in fairness to others!)

      Seb Chan

  13. 2009 October 15
    Kylie Pappalardo permalink

    For anyone who is interested in learning more about copyright and data, a simple guide is available on the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) website at: http://www.ands.org.au/guides/index.html

  14. 2009 November 4

    Does anyone know where i can find a patent lawyer who specialises in Web application development, I think we have a super winner with something which is currently under development which will be integrated with Sportkin early next year.

    Look forward to your reply

  15. 2009 November 5

    I’d like to submit a mashup i’ve made (Gastro) to the competition, however the Government dataset i’ve used isn’t listed on data.australia.gov.au.

    I’m scraping the data myself and transforming it to JSON + KML, so I think my mashup would fall under the transformation challenge.

    Is it possible to submit my entry to the competition?

    • 2009 November 8
      Mia Garlick permalink

      Hey Lindsay,

      Sorry for the delayed response. Short answer — yes, we’d love to encourage as many entries as possible so want to find a way to get your mashup entered.

      Two little things that probably need to be considered: (1) the rules (see cl 3) say that all entries must include at least one dataset that we “liberated” for the contest. We did this because the contest is, in part, a demonstration exercise — how do we go about releasing data by govt and what can the community do with it. Any chance you can find one of the datasets on data.australia.gov.au or the ABS to include in yours? (2) those pesky rules also require (see cl 8 ) that you have permission to use and submit the data in a mashup for the contest. The main data I can see in your mashup seems to be published for “personal, in-house or non-commercial use” without alteration only, which would typically exclude mashing it up and posting it publicly online. I assume you have some separate permission to use it in your mashup but you probably want to check that this permission extends to the contest before submitting it.

      Thanks, Mia

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