State and federal government data can be difficult to decipher, but a national event will allow IT professionals to make some sense of it all, finding practical solutions to problems facing the community.
GovHack puts digital entrepreneurs, app developers, game makers, data analysts, and a range of experts in the one room for 46 hours, tasked with developing working prototypes using open data.
Last year, two locals developed a prototype for a garbage collection reminder app, which inspired the Launceston City Council to sign up to the Recycle Coach app, released in Launceston earlier in the year.
The app reminds Launceston residents when to put their bins out for collection.
Launceston resident Nathaniel Bott said he developed the app using Launceston City Council data and a map provided by the council.
He said the Launceston City Council suggested the idea.
Startup Tasmania founder James Riggall said separate data sets could be combined to discover new insights.
“There’s thousands of data sets that are really interesting, but they’re all just spreadsheets,” he said.
“If you had some information about air quality, and some information about hospital admissions for asthma, you might be able to see something in that data that each of those data sets on its own can’t tell you.”
He said the learning experience of GovHack was equally important to developing prototypes.
Information, Technology and Innovation Minister Michael Ferguson said nearly 100 Tasmanian Government datasets were available this year.
“As part of the Government’s sponsorship we are offering a new prize for the Most Commercial Benefit category, with the winning team gaining 12-months access to the Tasmanian Entrepreneurship and Incubation Hubs,” he said.
Mr Riggall said a $10000 prize pool was also up for grabs at state level, with more prizes to be awarded at a national ceremony down the track.
He said tickets were still available to the free event in Launceston and Hobart, and can be obtained through Startup Tasmania’s Facebook page.
GovHack Launceston will run from Friday, July 29 from 7pm to Sunday, July 31 until 5pm at the Battery Shed at Inveresk.
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