October 17, 2017

How I GovHack'd

I participated in the first Northern Territory iteration of GovHack. We were based at the Sandbox - co-working and innovative space in Alice Springs and hosted by Edan Baxter.

The core team in Alice Springs registered 9 projects by midday Saturday. Then the hard work continued as datasets were analysed and scope creep managed. Teams ranged from two people working together for the first time to 6 people in an organised team structure. What you needed in a team was multiple skills - video production, storyboard writing, software programming, software design and writing skills with a liberal sprinkling of good ideas.

This is not the time to learn new software. It's great if you have a large grab bag of tools that you are familiar with. One outcome of the weekend is the list of things I have to try and programmes to check out.

The finished project videos and write-ups were loaded to the hackerspace just in the nick of time by 4pm Sunday. Projects varied in degrees of complexity, sophistication and innovative power.

Here is the video of my project.



I picked up the Spirit of GovHack Award to Alice Springs. Then we hacked the hack! Jay Tucker was the winner of the Spirit of GovHack award for the Northern Territory. He was part of the NT winning team and Runner-up for the National Places Hack for the Red House Blue House Project. As their project was using the same maps as my hack but in a different way, I contacted Jay and proposed a crazy idea for a combined hack. We designed a t-shirt which Jay wore around Brisbane as he toured the city before the Red Carpet Awards! T-shirt complete with scannable codes to read 1948 news articles direct from Trove, what more could one want in unique wearables?

My thinking was consumed and pushed into totally new areas for those 46 hours. My thinking expanded on how to use open data to benefit the community and how my own skills could be put to use to directly benefit the local community I live in. There was also a roadmap to think about and to extend the project to next steps and other iterations. The next time someone asks me what Govhack was all about....I'll definitely be able to confuse or clarify it to some extent.

Check these out for ideas for next year!
Northern Territory Project Awards: https://2017.hackerspace.govhack.org/awards.
National and International Awards: http://govhack.org/national-international-winners/http://govhack.org/national-international-winners/