Data Hackers Rise to the Challenge With Innovative Ideas at GovHack 2020

Winners of the ARDC's GovHack 2020 challenges are inspiring, innovative ideas.

New apps that provide Melburnians with inspiration for exploring their local area and entertaining ways to support their local businesses during lockdown were two of the innovative responses to the Australian Research Data Commons’ (ARDC) data challenges in August’s GovHack competition.

The winners of the ARDC’s two challenges were announced at GovHack’s virtual Red Carpet Awards on 17 October.

GovHack2020 was a two-day Australian and New Zealand open data hackathon where individuals and teams created concepts, mashups and models to tackle important societal challenges using open government data.

The competition, which ran over a weekend in August 2020, was created to encourage people and organisations to use open government data to improve the quality of life and drive meaningful change.

The ARDC provided two challenges to this year’s event. The first involved helping Melburnians cope with restrictions on their movement due to the COVID-19 lockdown, using freely available datasets, while staying within their 5km radius.

The second challenge involved using datasets to show how the language of Australian leaders, which can inspire and unite but also provoke division and conflict, has changed over time.

The winners — along with all of the participants — showed impressive creativity and skill in their responses. 

One of the winning teams created a mobile app that helps Victorians make the best use of their limited outdoor time by suggesting new adventures each day, accompanied by specially curated music playlists. Another team developed an engaging app to connect residents with their local businesses.

The response to our language of leaders challenge also resulted in innovative and insightful products, including an analysis of the issues that have impacted Australia over the past 60 years.

Here are the results of the ARDC’s GovHack 2020 challenges:

Find hidden gems within COVID-19 lockdown

Joint Winners:

  • Explore Data by Don’t Preach — a mobile app that helps users enjoy their limited time outdoors by bringing daily adventures to their fingertips. 
  • Locali by Big Sunday — an app to connect local business and residents, encouraging them to shop, explore and play.

Honourable Mention: B-Here by The Winning Team, Trekstep by ElectronicallyE and Air5 by CoCo

The language of leadership

Joint Winners:

  • Language of Power by Thaum —  visualisations that display the emotional tone of public discourse in marginal topics from Australian politicians.
  • Prime Figures of Speech by The Watchmen — the key talking points in our country over the last 60 years, expressed through the lens of language used by our political leaders. 

Honourable Mention: For the Record by The Quaranticians, Prime Minister Speech Analysis by Angry Anguses and The Lucky Country by CoCo

“The winners — along with all of the participants — showed impressive creativity and skill in their responses,” said Rosie Hicks, CEO of ARDC.

Visit GovHack to learn more about all the award winners and innovative project ideas.


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