Opening up government data – get hacking people!

So much cool stuff has happened since I started working in the government. The most exciting thing now is that a load of government data sets have been opened up (both at a federal and state level). This is an ENORMOUS step forward towards more openness, transparency and accountability in government, and I am extremely excited about it!

Now, we seriously need to get our collective tech community butts into gear, and show why open access to data is important and awesome for democracy, society, collaboration and (warning, about to use the “i” word…) massive innovation and creativity.

There is a mashup competition running, supported by the Gov 2.0 Taskforce and there are currently 4 mashup camps running in Australia, including a huge one in Canberra called GovHack at the end of the month! There are also some events happening in Sydney hosted by Google and Open Australia.

So this is a shout out and call to action for all people passionate about hacking, Open Standards, FOSS, open democracy and open knowledge to come along and participate in, well, an enormous and wonderful turning point for our society!

I’ll be at the Canberra mashup camp (GovHack) for most of the time, and will be trying to get along to the Google events and the Open Australia one. I encourage all of your to do your own mashup camps within your communities, be it a FOSS user group, web 2.0 group, standards or any other sort of community. Let’s see if we can ge mashup camps happening all over Australia!

The events and competition are not just for technical people, so imagine how you might be able to use your skills to contribute to a mashup, and ultimately to a more open society.

Get hacking, mashing and have fun out there! Catch you online! :)

PS – for those who are wondering or concerned, yes the funding for the Taskforce is provided by Microsoft, however it is managed by and completely at the discretion of the Taskforce, led by Nicholas Gruen, who are a wonderful group with all the right ideas and principles on openness and access. Don’t let the mere involvement of any company or individual rob your of the opportunity to contribute to something so awesome, and to have your very important perspectives represented on the national and indeed global stage. A full explanation from the Taskforce which should clarify any concerns is on their website.

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3 Responses to Opening up government data – get hacking people!

  1. Hi Pia,
    It would be great if you could link to the OpenAustralia hackfest site – it’s kind of hard to find from the OA home page. :)

    http://hackfest.openaustralia.org/

    Cheers!
    Sarah

  2. simonfj says:

    Hi you,

    A quick note while I’m catching up with the hackfest & surrounds. I fell off my chair (again). There you were at PS3 knocking yourself out, and my socks off, by having to band aid between 3 sites of people with skinny pipes. And this time? No streaming with this hackfest, and in the building is enough bandwidth (and online tools) to do this ( http://it-multimedia.web.cern.ch/it-multimedia/collaborative/ ) around 30 Oz unis. hundreds of gov depts and schools, globally), and plug into a broadcast station at HDTV, at the same time.

    A bit of work to do on the production side of course. They don’t have a school for informatics down there, do they? (you know, like people count)

    You might consider running a series of conferences wth Nic next year, and tee up the schedule with a-pac. Between your imaginations I’m sure you can see the new media model, of which the web part is the focus for the younger geeks. The older ones run the networks they play on, and appear to have had imagaintion bypasses.

    Keep in mind that the old farts have the pennies, and will never understand what dinosaurs they (I) are. So it’s up to you and Nic to find the balance. (sorry; there are only the 2 of you in canberra). James might make it three. He’s certainly got the head. http://chieftech.com.au/wanted-model-use-cases-for-government-20?c=1 (slide 38) if not your motivation.

    Have fun! Now I’m off to get some kulcha. http://fcforum.net/

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