[clug] [LINK] GovHack - Canberra 30/31 October

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 04:40:12 MDT 2011

On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 8:17 PM, Edward Lang <edlang at edlang.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 8:53 AM, Tom Worthington
> <tom.worthington at tomw.net.au> wrote:
>> George Bray wrote:
>>> GovHack ... mashups and applications with government data ...
>>> http://govhack.org/
>> Yes, GovHack is a free, intensive event at the ANU in Canberra on 30 to 31
>> October. This is sponsored by the Government 2.0 Taskforce and supported by
>> CSIRO. Government agencies, locals, state, federal and international, might
>> like to come forward with APIs and datasets to be used by the participants.
>> Offer datasets and tools via the Wiki:
>> <http://govhack.org/wiki/>. University and industry researchers can
>> contact Laurent Lefort at CSIRO:
>> <http://www.ict.csiro.au/staff/laurent.lefort/>.
>> The event will explore  some of the ideas for the use of government
>> information discussed at Bar Camp Canberra:
>> <http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/2009/03/redesigning-australian-government.html>.
> Did GovHack / MashupAustralia continue past 2009? These two programmes
> were mentioned in passing in the draft AGIMO ICT Strategic Vision
> paper announced today:
> http://agimo.govspace.gov.au/2011/04/13/ict-strategic-vision/
> (see page 28 of the PDF, not sure about the other formats)

Sadly not as yet (ditto for Apps4NSW etc. at a state level). There are
some other data competitions around such as ABS Codeplay
(which closes this friday! Should be good to see the submissions!),
LibraryHack http://libraryhack.org/ (which will run in May apparently
with hack day events) and the Meta2011 conference linked data
competition http://www.metalounge.org/linked_data_mashup_challenge2011

Kaggle do a lot of data competitions including one previously for the
NSW RTA on traffic prediction: http://www.kaggle.com/c/RTA

There was a short Open Government Data film released today about
efforts like these around the world:
http://opengovernmentdata.org/film/ with a mailing list to follow to
improve global collaboration:

As they say in the film, demonstration is the key to acceptance and
there is nothing better than letting data geeks show what they can do
to those who control the data. It would be good to see a local
competition like the OpenCorporates/ScraperWiki Global Business
Registration data one:
That competition provides bounties to get data scraped from all
business registers (sadly the Australian one is mostly complete)
around the world using the ScraperWiki platform. Obviously, that is a
huge data standardisation and cleanup effort, and it could be applied
to a wide range of Government data that needs some tweaks for best

As an aside, the ScraperWiki platform is very technically impressive.
It allows the scraper code written in PHP, Ruby or Python to safely
run "in the cloud" (on User Mode Linux virtual environments) and
anyone can get the resulting data in standard tabular form (CSV,
SQLite). It also allows real-time collaboration and versioning on the
code behind the scrapers (The Wiki part of the name). ScraperWiki is
also used by the OpenAustralia PlanningAlerts site so scrapers for
different council development application websites can be collaborated
on; the results are available at http://www.planningalerts.org.au/

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