After more than 900 developers and 130 teams putting in 20,000 hours of research and development over 48 hours, the GovHack winners of 2013 have been announced.
This year's event took place on 1-2 June across Australia, with participation from federal, state and local governments. This is the first year GovHack has gone national.
Open Government, Digital Humanities, Science and Data Journalism were the main categories, with a number of search and data conversion tools, data visualisations, and improved accessibility of existing data services being developed.
The projects that won more than one award across the categories are Australia in Review, The Open Index, Unlocked.org, Giving them a better chance: Analytics meets early childhood development, PlaceMe, Pixtory, and Plan Your Picnic!
For the people’s choice, Australia in Review won first prize, with Oz Explore coming second place and Local Lookout at third place.
David Fricker, director-general of National Archives of Australia, said the event showed that a bit of “chaos and anarchy” can move government and society forward in innovation.
“What has come through in all of the entries including the ones that didn’t win any awards is real spark of creativity and innovation, and just a real sense of what we are capable of in this country if we can just get our hands on the data and given the opportunity to come up with something. Every entry that I saw really shined,” he said.
Michael Phillips, manager of NICTA's eGov Cluster, described this generation of technologists and developers as “empowering”.
“I’m probably characterising the hackers as Gen Ys but one of the things I find in the role that I’m in working with them is just so empowering. Their ability to think outside the square, their abilities are just so impressive. This kind of activity is really important for the future of the country.”
"With a data hungry, technically literate generation on its way through the current school system, understanding the fundamentals of how to analyse and communicate effectively with data are critical in ensuring a strong industry and indeed, a strong democracy," added Pia Waugh, director of co-ordination and Gov 2.0, Australian Government Information Management Office.
"The inclusion of Data Journalism in this years event is our small contribution to growing these skills."
For a full list of the GovHack 2013 winners, click here.