Government 2.0 Taskforce » mashups Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Tue, 04 May 2010 23:55:29 +0000 en hourly 1 Australia, You Have Been Mashed Wed, 18 Nov 2009 05:32:56 +0000 Mia Garlick
OpenAustralia Hackfest, Halans CC BY-NC-SA

OpenAustralia Hackfest, Halans CC BY-NC-SA

Last Friday November 13, 2009 saw the close of the entry period for our Mashup Australia contest. While our esteemed judging panel is now hard at work assessing the entries, it’s timely to pause and consider how it has gone so far….in word: wow!! The response has been fantastic.

As you may recall, the contest was designed to provide a practical demonstration of the benefits that open access to public sector information can provide. We asked you – the community – to help us with this. We released some datasets on terms and in formats that enable reuse and asked you to help us show the benefit that can result. And show us you did.

We have had 81 entries — a huge result that positions this contest on par with similar contests held in other jurisdictions (or possibly even with greater impact if you pro rata entries per head of the population ☺). The entries are diverse in their focus – from Australia’s world heritage listed areas, to a Darwin bus map, to “Know Where You Live” (a visualization of Australian Government data based on your geographic location with accompanying images relevant photo).

Without doubt, considerable momentum for the contest was generated by the hackfests that were organized to get people together, sharing skills and ideas and building things. One of these – GovHack (see this report back) – was supported by the Taskforce but four others – the GoogleHackNights #1 and #2, the Melhack and the OpenAustralia Google Hackfest (see this report back) – were self-organised. All of them were huge successes.

All in all, I think its fair to say that you have definitely helped us demonstrate the innovative potential that can be unlocked when government information itself is unlocked, both via the hackfests but also via the blog posts explaining how you created your mashups (see e.g. “Building mashups for the society (Mashup Australia”) and “In Their Honour – Mapping Anzac Graves”). You have also helped us better understand how government data can be improved with your feedback about your experiences in trying to use the data (thanks, for example, to pamelafox and Jo Decker).

A big thank you to all of those involved in organizing the hackfests, to those who participated in the events and everyone who submitted entries or provided comments and feedback.

Don’t forget, we are keeping public voting open until 4pm this Friday November 20th and don’t worry geo2gov, we’re on those attempts at vote rigging.

Stay tuned to find out who the Mashies go to….. ]]> 3 Innovate, Mash, Camp: Govt 2.0 Contest Update Tue, 22 Sep 2009 06:56:22 +0000 Mia Garlick A while back, we outlined some of the contests we hoped to hold that would demonstrate gov2.0 objectives, engage the community and be fun.

Given some months (and lots of work) has now elapsed, it seems timely to give a little update about where we are up to…

# a government innovation contest:

The government innovation contest was launched in early September, along with a structured brainstorming contest and a dataset nomination contest. These closed two days ago, on Sunday 20 September, and we had a great response. Thank you!! The results from these contests will be announced shortly.

# an open access to PSI + the ‘tools of liberation’ contest:


This is the one that I personally am most excited about. We are on track for launching this, possibly as early as next week. The combined forces of the Secretariat and my colleagues at DBCDE (thanks Judi and James) have been hard at work securing the agreement of at least 12 (yep, count them) federal agencies and at least four (possibly more) out of our seven states and territories to release datasets for use in the contest … (drum roll) in RDF, XML, JSON, CSV or XLS formats and under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license.

Consistent with global trends for the release of government data and a significant achievement for a country with Crown Copyright and without (presently, at least) a national information policy, we have enough people working with foresight within our federal and state governments who were happy to release data for this contest on real open access terms/formats.

# NEW NEW NEW: mashup camp(s)

We realise that data doesn’t just mash itself up. We also want to bring the community together to share and collaborate. In an effort to do this, we are working on organising at least one mashup camp to be held in Sydney in late October/ early November. We also hope to hold one in Canberra in mid-October. Just to give y’all a heads up that we are trying to give you a formal forum to get your innovative juices flowing to mashup the data that we have liberated.

# a makeover:

Unfortunately, this contest will not be going ahead. We haven’t been able to get enough agencies interested in sufficient time to allow this to be completed during the Taskforce’s lifetime (which ends in December). All experience is good experience though and it shows us all how challenging it can be to get the necessary sign-offs for new and innovative ideas within a short time-frame within government.

More soon….feedback welcome….

]]> 2