[School-of-data] Event GovHack – Beautiful Data

David F. Flanders dff.ands at gmail.com
Wed May 8 23:22:45 UTC 2013

Some nation wide data hackery here in Australia :)  please do pass onto
your Australasia friends :) /Flanders

*Event GovHack – Beautiful Data*

*au.okfn.org | May 8th 2013*

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

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.

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