Australian Capital Territory Open Data Portal Gets a New Look
One of our longtime customers just got a new look. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is a small jurisdiction that houses the Australian national government in Canberra (similar to Washington D.C. in the U.S.) as well as the state/territory government that supports the citizens and businesses of Canberra. After more than five years of successfully operating an open data portal, Socrata helped the ACT Government give their portal a design refresh and enhance the way citizens view their data.
Deeply committed to transparency, the ACT has used open data to successfully showcase information to help inform and engage the citizens of Canberra. Case in point: their extensive data on pedestrian and cyclist crashes that have occurred across Canberra. Other data tracks and shows the free public Wi-Fi centers that are most often used in the area and locations of speed cameras and the offenses they have captured.
While the site was already successfully being used, a modern redesign has made the ACT site even more user-centric and streamlined. For example, the ACT improved its use of metadata in the catalog which allowed ACT Government Directorates (i.e. departments) to have their own landing pages and better spotlight data. In this way, directorates can quickly and easily share data in a way that users can clearly understand and utilize.
GovHack Event This Weekend
To encourage citizen engagement in open data, the ACT Government will be sponsoring and supporting the Canberra competition of the annual GovHack hackathon event across Australia and New Zealand. The event, held over the weekend of July 28-30, is open to anyone who is interested — developers and engaged citizens alike — and offers prize money and mentorship opportunities to the winners. As stated on their website, the event is about “encouraging and celebrating our technical and creative capacity with government for great outcomes, and building upon the social and economic value of Open Data published by government.” By sponsoring challenges and offering prizes around themes of strategic interest, the ACT Government hopes to see creative and innovative projects that will enrich the Canberra community,
The GovHack event has a history of colorful project submissions. For example, one of last year’s hackathon submissions included “Coffee Is Life,” a video game that provides a walking tour of Melbourne’s landmarks and heritage sites while simultaneously dealing with a zombie infestation. Other submissions included “Breathe Easy” by team REMARK, which proposed an app that shows real-time air pollution levels on an interactive map.
If last year’s innovative project submissions are any indicator, GovHack 2017 is bound to bring exciting ideas and solutions from passionate local thought leaders. Keep up with this weekend’s hackathon on Twitter by visiting @GovHackCBR.