Pubcrawls and volcanoes feature in GovHack 2017

TEAMWORK: MRaw Data team members Dan Richardson, Justin Hood and  Dan Wild working on their app. Picture: Phillip Biggs.
TEAMWORK: MRaw Data team members Dan Richardson, Justin Hood and Dan Wild working on their app. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

GovHack Tasmania 2017 saw an impressive array of apps, games and infographics created by Tasmanian programmers, according to competition organiser James Riggal. 

The three-day event concluded on Sunday, with nine different projects completed using open government data.

Mr Riggal highlighted the use of a map of Launceston as an example of some of the data used by IT professionals and students in the world’s largest hackathon. 

Dan Richardson, Justin Hood and  Dan Wild working hard to find a solution. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

Dan Richardson, Justin Hood and Dan Wild working hard to find a solution. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

“One data set that was really interesting was a 3D scan of Launceston that the Launceston Council released,” he said. 

“One [project using this data set] was a crowd management simulator, which could be used in town planning.

“It was full of digital crowds, and it allowed you to see how the crowd would move around, and the rate of foot traffic.”

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Another example of a completed project was Pubcrawler – an app which allows you to list and join pub crawls occurring around Melbourne created with data collated by City of Melbourne.

Mr Riggal said that the true spirit of GovHack was most clearly demonstrated by CSIRO Software Engineer Dan Wild teaming up with two UTAS computing students for the competition.  

Pubcrawler app

One of the students, Dan Richardson, spoke enthusiastically about working with such a seasoned professional in the computing industry.

“It was very very helpful working with [Dan Wild]. His biggest strength was that he was really good at getting you started, supporting you enough, and then letting you figure out yourself what to do instead of doing it all for you,” he said. 

“Our project was taking earthquake data from around Australia and mapping it for a time sequence against social media feeds to track how people react to an earthquake that has happened.”

Teams win $6000 for different category prizes, which will be presented at a state awards ceremony within the month.

For more information on the completed projects go to https://2017.hackerspace.govhack.org/projects and select the Launceston competition.