Brisbane GovHack a huge success

15 July 2014

Have you ever wished there was a faster and easier way to report a fault with public infrastructure to the Brisbane City Council?

What about a way for you and your partner to agree on an event for date night?

Or do you know someone who would benefit from a network tool for carers in the disabled community?

Fear not, now Brisbanites can do all of this and more thanks to the 17 teams who submitted accepted entries to the GovHack 2014 event at QUT’s The Cube.

Vote for your favourite Brisbane entry for the People’s Choice Award

In total, 109 avid programmers, designers, analysts, students and general all-round lovers of code represented Brisbane at the annual event, which attracted more than 1300 people across 11 cities nationally.

Their mission was to build something clever using government data while having fun at the same time. That’s just what they did, according to local organiser and Digital Brisbane manager Cara Walsh.

“I was really taken with the fact that all of these people gave up their weekends to help solve community problems using government data – it’s pretty amazing if you think about it,” Ms Walsh said.

“The goal of events like GovHack is to engage the community in using government data to solve community problems. To that end, GovHack Brisbane was a huge success.  The city’s Data store saw an 83 per cent increase in traffic over the weekend and the community has new innovative solutions.”

Ms Walsh said the quality of entrants was of a high standard and Brisbane received the third-highest number of submissions in the country with 27 entries.

Highlights included using data to create a two-person social network for couples (Date Night); a way to report faults with public infrastructure in 10 seconds (Fix My City); and a web application to increase awareness about and for the carers of the disabled members of the community in Brisbane (Empowered). Watch the video submissions below.

Team Futura finished forming on Friday evening when it convinced a GovHack volunteer to join its efforts.  The group stayed up until 4am working on its submission that helps you find a place to live based on amenities nearby.

Winners will be announced at the GovHack 2014 Red Carpet event, which for the first time will be held in Brisbane. To coincide with the event, national finalists will also be invited to attend the Beyond the Hack workshop and discussion at River City Labs.

Hosted by Adam Spencer and attended by local, state and federal government representatives, the invite-only event will take place at Brisbane City Hall on 10 August, 2014. Digital Brisbane will be one of the evening’s main sponsors.

If you can’t attend the event in person, you can always follow it live online. Just visit the GovHack website to see how.

There’s also a chance for the public to vote for their favourite hack for the People’s Choice Award. See a list of Brisbane’s entries below and get voting now. You can vote on each submission’s page at hackerspace.govhack.org.

Previous entrants include:

AussieMon: The Native Pokemon Game — AussieMon is an online game to teach children about Australian wildlife and the various endangered species in Queensland. Modelled after the Pokemon game, AussieMon engages children and young adults with an interactive card-game battle and enables them to collect a wide range of virtual Australian animal cards.

Brisbane Park Finder — The goal of Brisbane Park Finder is to make it easy for residents and visitors in Brisbane to find one of the city’s parks in their area with the facilities they want. Users can search for parks by area, and by the kinds of facilities available (e.g. barbeques, fitness equipment, dog-off-leash areas, etc.). They can see a map of the park including the location of the various park facilities.

Conviction – Conviction is a responsive web application allowing users to search and filter convict records in a visual manner. Each convict is listed with name, age, place of origin, and the name of the ship on which they arrived. Conviction allows for a stimulating exploration through Australia’s convict past, providing a glimpse into the lives of convicts brought to Australia’s shores.

DateNight – DateNight, a iOS/Android (PhoneGap) mobile application, is a two-person social network for couples. Couples can browse through all the great events on offer in Brisbane that have been organised by the BCC. A person can “heart” an event to share it with their partner, and their partner can “heart” the event back if they think it looks good.

Empowered – Empowered is a web application dedicated to increase awareness about and for the carers of disabled members of the community. Empowered aims to make the Australian community aware of the lives of carers in their community and, just as importantly, put relevant government information into the hands of the carers.

fixmycity – Aims to engage the community in reporting faults with public infrastructure for the Brisbane City Council. There is an existing webpage for notifying the council, but the interface is considered by some to be too long and time-consuming. The idea was to make the reporting of faults as easy as a Facebook or Instagram update.

Futura – How many times have you found a place to live or to invest only to discover it is not suitable? Maybe it is because it was in an expensive area and instead you want the same unit size with a cheaper price, in a safer area and with ease of access to nearby transportation and other family needs such as schools, hospitals and parks? Futura solves these issues.

GoldGo – This project is aimed at getting older Australians out of the house and into the community. The aim is to give those in their golden years the confidence and motivation to attend events tailored to their lifestyle. These objectives will be realised through showcasing such events and providing the right information to make make attendance possible.

Hither and Thither – Rather than just sitting around bored and wondering, why not check out where people have been going – perhaps on a big screen in your airport lounge? Andy and the ex-DSTCers present Hither and Thither, an interactive visualisation of Australia’s most popular travel sources and destinations.

Park Me – Introducing Park Me, an android app that aims to solve the problems of unsafe, distracted driving and increased congestion.

parkme – This app attempts to make life easier by showing you the different metered parking options available in Brisbane from where you are or where you are planning to go.

Water Bottle – Water Bottle is a fitness companion app that reminds you to keep hydrated while working out. It keeps track of your location and reminds you to fill up your water bottle when you are in the risk of running low on water, or simply reminds you to drink water regularly if you’re not bringing a water bottle. Water Bottle gets the location of all the water bubblers in Brisbane City and prompts you to the nearest water fountains before you run out of water.

Reading Parks – Reading Parks is a community for booklovers to get outside, get together, and share their love for books. It promotes the sharing of books with your community and attempt to get book lovers to get out of their rooms and enjoy reading outside in local parks.

State of the Queensland Rental Market – This project showcases the current rental market within the state of Queensland. By showing the previous nine months of new bonds commencing, registered with the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority, the system allows users to investigate the rental market around them.

Vic Builder – Victoria Builder lets you explore building permit information in Victoria from the comfort of your PC. Using data since 2009, VB shows you the most expensive building costs using Google Street View. You can also explore buildings in your suburb and look at building cost statistics per suburb.

Park Life – Parklife is a simple-to-use as well as intuitive iPad application. Its purpose is to allow users to see events around Brisbane and/or plan a day out.

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