GovHack 2012 winners, UK Finch Group report, and UK GP data released


  • GovHack 2012 – winning mashups, data visualisations, and apps



  • UK Finch Group report on expanding access to published research
  • UK GP data released


GovHack 2012 – winning mashups, data visualisations, and apps

Over 40 great mashups, data visualisations, and apps were submitted for GovHack 2012. The major prizes went to the following projects:

  • A Day in the Life (best overall Digital Humanities Award). A Day in the Life brings together historical temperature and rainfall data, population and price index, and National Archives image metadata to enable users to see a point-in-time snapshot of what a chosen location looked like on a chosen date.
  • Time Capsule (best overall Science Award). Time Capsule is an interactive data visualisation which allows users to see trends from 15 government datasets as well as correlations between them, such as any correlation between unemployment and suicide rates.
  • History in ACTION (Best Benefit to the ACT Community Award). History in ACTION enables users to create their own customised tour exploring the history of Canberra, with photographs and historical information correlated to suburbs and bus routes.
  • WeatheredOak (Best API development for government data sets). WeatheredOak is an interface which consolidates historical weather data to provide accessible temperature data from Australian weather stations from 1900 to 2011.
  • OpenBudget (Best Open Government Award). OpenBudget is an open data series and online visualisation tool allowing users to see (and export data on) government expenditure by department and function.
  • Photo Search (Best use of the Archives data set). Photo Search creates a new responsive and intuitive search interface for exploring the National Archives of Australia’s images from the past 200 years.
  • Safe Route (Best use of Geoscience Australia data sets). Safe Route allows users to monitor bush fires in their region, alerts users in an emergency, assists them to find the safest route for evacuation taking into account closed roads and obstacles, and automatically notifies Emergency Services for rescue if a user has no open path for evacuation.

You can see all the major and minor prize winners and highly commended entries, read more about the submissions and the teams, and access the code from the mashups and apps created for GovHack at the GovHack website. Video of the event is also available at the GovHack website.


UK Finch Group report on expanding access to published research

The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings released its report on 18 June. The report addresses the key policy question of how to promote the shift to open access and realise the benefits of the digital revolution to maximise efficiency, transparency, and innovation, while minimising the risks.


The report recommends a programme of action that should be taken in the UK to promote open access to research publications and communication of results to the public. Recommended actions for the government include setting a clear policy direction and moving toward a system in which the administrative costs of publishing papers in journals is met by public funds including by universities and research councils, not by readers, so that published research would be freely available to all. The final report is available here.


UK GP data released

Data from more than 8 000 General Practices in England has been published to help to improve standards for GPs and allow patients to make informed choices. The UK Department of Health will measure convenience in booking, wait time in reception before an appointment, opening hours, and whether the doctors and nurses are good listeners and give clear explanations. Each surgery will be rated out of 10 and the data will be available on the NHS Choices website. Potential patients will then be able to compare nearby practices and even find a surgery with experience in a certain area. The Guardian has published an article about this initiative here.


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