Hacking for good

Governments collect huge quantities of data, but rarely display it in ways that are both useful and engaging. The Australian government is addressing this by creating “Gov Hack” events, where designers and developers go to work for a day and a half to find ways to present the data online. It’s part of the Government 2.0 Taskforce which aims to increase open access to data.

Picture 5

LobbyClue; Visualising the relationship of various lobby and supply groups.

The winners of the last event found a way to present the inter-relationship between lobbyists and a government department using something similar to an aquabrowser, called LobbyClue. Their stated goal was to “correlate data about Government contracts, business details and politician responsibilities to show the relationships between these items’

The the function makes it fun to explore, but I’m not sure what possibility of analysis are possible, it seems to require mousing over the entity’s name to get the details of the deal or relationship.

My favourite was “know where you live“, it’s perhaps less ambitious in terms of what is done with the data, but the clean presentation and the ease of use appeal. I can imagine this being a useful tool for home buyers. I wish there was something similar for my current city, perhaps I should send them an email.

Picture 2

my old neighbourhood

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