Event GovHack – Beautiful Data

As most of you will have heard, the Australian Government’s annual ‘open data’ event (GovHack) is taking place across the country this year with prizes from $500 to $5000 on offer!  GovHack this year has recruited 8 cities including our fair city of Melbourne!  Naturally, many in the Open Knowledge community are already involved around the country (see the #GovHack tag for further postings).

Here in Melbourne, Dr. Fiona Tweedie and myself (David F. Flanders) are organising the event in collaboration with the The Age newspaper’s DataPoint team and the Research Tech Services at The University of Melbourne.  Our thanks to Steve Manos & Marc Moncrief for their leadership to make this happen.

Fiona and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you why the Melbourne event will be different from the other GovHack events.  First, the theme of our event:

Not only are we hoping to make the event itself beautiful by inviting a diverse range of people and ideas; in addition, we are are so confident that Melbourne will produce the most beautiful data hacks that we are putting up a prize that anyone can win #FriendlyRivalry.  The challenge is simple: take any open data or knowledge and make it beautiful.  The prize to be announced soon.

What is an example of a winning idea?  Naturally, we don’t really know yet (“beauty is in the eye of the beholder”).  However, the team we think would have won at last year’s GovHack (and who did win a prize) was @RuthEllison & @EilvDeece. Ruth & Alaistair took historical temperature data for Australia and turned it into a graph showing the overall rise in temperature. They then designed the graph into a piece of jewelry and had it laser cut into beautiful pieces of art.  We want to see more of this creativity, using data to tell a beautiful story and designing it so that it inspires discussion.

Who should attend? Designers, Journalists, Researchers, Developers, Storytellers, Makers, Cartographers, Artists, Students and anyone else who works with data on a regular basis and has the desire to make it beautiful!

When does this event happen (and can I just check it out):  Perhaps you are not sure about this thing called ‘hacking’?  Why not just come to the launch party and partake in the drinks, nibbles and games we have planned Friday evening May 31st, 2013.  We’ll start at 6pm in Media House (the HQ for The Age newspaper, next to Southern Cross station).  The prizes will be announced from the Nation’s capital, we’ll then have a game called ‘balloon bingo’ where everyone will get to know one another’s skillz through a mix of balloons and bingo (plan on having fun and meetings lots of interesting people!):

balloons + bingo = fun & new friends!

The main event (and ‘beautiful hacking’ space, as provided by The Age) will be open all day on Saturday and Sunday (June 1st & 2nd).  All competition entries will be due on Sunday evening at the close of the event.  Each team will need to submit a video of their entry and upload it to the GovHack website.  See the GovHack website for all the prizes!

Finally, if you are interested in participating make sure you grab a ticket here (tickets will be released in daily rounds):


If you have further questions or would like to sponsor a prize yourself (so you can see your data be turned into something beautiful or functional), then please contact @DFFlanders or @FCTweedie for Victoria prizes or @PiaWaugh for national prizes.

One thought on “Event GovHack – Beautiful Data”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *