Skip to content

Are you a hipster, a hustler, or a hacker?

Submitted on Tuesday, 08th September - 9.48.

SheHacks 2015, a Girl Geek Academy event, 21-23 August 2015 - Review

SheHacks is an annual weekend long hack event (hackathon) run for women, by women. The aim of SheHacks is to create a supportive environment and experience for women. This year participants were encouraged to create something that could benefit women.

How does it work

When registering for Girl Geek Academy’s SheHacks event, participants were asked to identify themselves as a hipster, a hustler or a hacker.

  • A hipster has a design focus to their skill set, e.g. a Web designer, graphic designer, or illustrator.
  • A hustler engages with customers, develops a business plan, or creates marketing for a product.
  • A hacker is the programmer, app developer or web developer – the person with the technical know-how to build the product.

Small teams that comprise each of these roles had from Friday night until mid-afternoon Sunday to come up with a product idea, develop a business around it, build a prototype/demonstration of the product, and prepare a pitch presentation for judging. 

To assist teams along the way were mentors for programming, developing, pitching, ideation, and user research.

The judging of this hack event centred on the pitching presentations on the Sunday afternoon. Each team had four minutes to describe their project and product – identify the problem, discuss how their project solves this problem, and how the project could be taken further.

All the projects were quite different – from safe travel tips, finding local guides in foreign locales, to a browser plugin for automatically reordering products and an app to connect women in team sports.

The food was awesome – no pizza or beer in sight. There was a yoga break on the Saturday – a great stretching break.

Who won

The Runner Up prize was award to team Chasing Unicorns for their project ‘Openize’. This was a rather unique app that aimed to address unconscious biases (to gender, diversity), by using a variety of notifications and reminders. This team picked a challenging subject, spending a great deal of their time planning how this would work.

A design prize was awarded to The Skeleton Crew for their project ‘She Treks’. An app designed to bring together a range of travel notifications of particular relevance to women, including travel tips from other travellers.

The Winner of SheHacks was team Gather with the App for their project ‘Gather Her’. This app built in native iOS, was designed to help mentors and mentees connect more effectively with each other. A number of LinkedIn API’s were leveraged, as well as the incorporation of a calendar function. This assisted the mentors/mentees with finding a mentee/mentor that had similar time availabilities as they did.

Find out more about Girl Geek Academy

Sally Pryor is a computer scientist working in a web team at a Victorian Government department.
In her spare time she participates in the local tech community and attends hack events like GovHack and SheHacks.


Join the conversation

GovHack Winners Video - Path to Safety

Submitted on Friday, 04th September - 5.25.

See the full list of the Victorian Government GovHack winners

Don't forget to share your data stories


Join the conversation

GovHack 2015 - Victorian Government Challenges -Honourable mentions

Submitted on Friday, 07th August - 7.57.

In 2015,we challenged GovHackers to use data to create digital products that focused on

  • Exploring what Victoria has to offer
  • Planning for the Future
  • Creating Connected Communiites

We are pleased to announce that the following projects recieved honourable mentions.

Greening Space Melbourne

Greening Space maps unloved public spaces in the City of Melbourne to enable the community to find spaces to grow and cultivate community gardens.

Greening Space aims to convert the concrete jungle into a greener and more open community space. We provide the public with a map overlaying Melbourne City Council and Melbourne water datasets on available spaces to grow food with trial environmental sensor readings data, to identify the best areas for growing particular plants, vegetables and flowers.

Postcode battle

Now you can fight your suburb against that of your friends!

Using our database built from state and national data, we select all the attributes in which your suburb is more awesome than that of your mates. We present them in a easily understandable way. Now you have real data to prove that your suburb is absolutely the most awesomest! Get battling!!

Geelong 2065

Geelong 2065 is a visualization tool that has pooled data from multiple locations. It provides insight into how Geelong’s public facilities will scale over time. Health services, schools and other infrastructure requirements will be forecasted to assist local Government with planning and economic decisions.

Ballarat Minute

Putting a local strategy "Today Tomorrow Together - The Ballarat Strategy" into action.

Ballarat Minute, allows Ballarat residents and visitors to easily find a wide range of services that are within a 10 minute walk or cycle.

Don't forget to tell us what you are doing with data


Join the conversation

Victorian Government releases budget data in real time

Submitted on Monday, 04th May - 9.47.

The complete data for  2015-16 Victorian State Budget is now available. The Treasurer handed down the State Budget on Tuesday 5 May 2015.  In conjunction with the budget, the budget data has being release in in reusable formats on and this site. This is the first time the complete collection of Budget papers in reusable formats has been released on budget day.

The Victorian Government has released budget data in reusable formats for a number of years. This year sees an improvement on the timeliness and completeness of the data in reusable form.  

The data is in a mix of formats (CSV and XLSX) and is categorised as State Budget 2015 16. In previous years' the dataset ‘Budget Paper No 4: State Capital Program’ was of particular interest.

The Budget data provides projections of Government revenue and expenditure for the following year, and outlines services to be delivered. Financial data is widely recognised as high value to the community and DTF has committed to the ongoing timely release of government financial publications in reusable formats.






Join the conversation

Opening government data - the reuse community

Submitted on Wednesday, 06th August - 6.58.

The demand that government should publish the data that it collects and generates in the course of its work comes from a number of sources. Transparency advocates see open Public Sector Information as a key plank of open government. Researchers in numerous fields can find uses for government data and there’s no doubt that improving the availability of data can increase efficiency within government by reducing duplication in information collection. Open data advocates also argue that there is a broader community with interest in this data and that benefits will flow from making it available to them. It may seem like an article of faith that this community exists but the experience of the Open Knowledge Foundation in Victoria is that it is very real.

In December 2013, the Open Knowledge Foundation and VicRoads held a meetup, which brought together government data custodians with over fifty data enthusiasts. A diverse group with interests including mapping, urban planning and transport safety came along to learn more about the data that is available and make suggestions about the data they’d like to see released. The evening generated a lot of enthusiasm, but the goal of data publication is not just interest, but reuse.

GovHack is a national hackathon that took place in eleven sites around the country between 11 and 13 July 2014. Over the weekend, teams worked with a huge range of data from local, state and federal government to create interactive tools, visualisations and pieces of data journalism. Some hacks make data more accessible or engaging, other hacks tackled specific challenges posed by the data providers, such as creating a dashboard of essential information for exploring Melbourne or helping people with accessibility needs navigate the city.

Helping these projects to have a life beyond the weekend is a further challenge, but GovHack organisers hope that as the community matures more teams will be able to work with data owners to bring these projects into a useable form. Even if the teams that created the hacks don’t want to keep working on the project, the fact that all entries must be open source means that others are free to develop a promising idea.

An event like GovHack generates a huge number of ideas, from the serious to the playful, in a short space of time. It also serves a broader purpose in increasing awareness of and interest in government data in the maker community and increasing understanding between data owners and consumers. Ultimately, building a collaborative relationship between government data custodians and the reuse community will help generate creative solutions to problems and give government data a life beyond the collecting agency.

Photo by Jordan Wilson Otto


Join the conversation

GovHack 2014

Submitted on Friday, 11th July - 16.10.

We anticipate some very interesting outcomes.

#GovHack #melbourne #ballarat

GovHack (see a national non-profit event that brings together 1300+ participants to collaborate on and experiment with (‘hack’) government data and new technologies and to conceive innovative and new applications for that data.

In Victoria, at sites in Melbourne and Ballarat, over 200 hackers will compete for State and National prizes.

The Victorian Government is a Principal sponsor and has partnered with the City of Melbourne and organisers, the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Data.vic is delighted to support GovHack 2014 with the release of brand new data including;

-        building permit data; (ie. seven years, >100,000 permits per year, and in bulk, comprising over 22 million data elements)

-        Victoria’s waterways data; (spatial boundaries, images, rules, zones and allowed use)

-        crashstats, speed zone and speed sign datasets.

Done well, hacks provide an opportunity to work with government data and create new innovation and ideation.

Doing well means maximising hackers knowledge of available data as well as building enthusiam and insights for its potential use. At a meet-up last month this and other Victorian data was showcased to registered GovHackers.

We anticipate some very interesting outcomes.

  , .

Join the conversation

Google Glass uses Melbourne Transport Timetable data

Submitted on Wednesday, 02nd April - 16.10.

I also note this news last week about more transport data with the announcement of the contractor for the PTV's new bus tracking system due to be delivered by June 2014. The Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder clearly stated his intentions to provide open access to the bus data.

Following the release of VictorianTransport Timetable data last month, there has been some interesting activity by innovators.

To update and add to the stats of last month's post about  Victorian Timetable data I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and innovation applied.

For example one Melbourne developer has taken the next step by creating a transport app for Google Glass.
A voice controlled app which tracks the wearer's location and when instructed shows which transport options are available to them. This is taking available technology to another level.

I'm on the look-out for more, so let me know about what you're building.

And, to update, since the release of the API data record there has been:

  • 4693 data record page views
  • more than 920 downloads of the API document, and
  • close to 119 API key requests

I also note this news last week about more transport data with the announcement of the contractor for the PTV's new bus tracking system due to be delivered by June 2014. The Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder clearly stated his intentions to provide open access to the bus data.


Join the conversation

Transport – PTV Timetable API Release Sets New High

Submitted on Friday, 14th March - 15.10.

Information updates will be posted on Data.Vic as and when they are received. 

The recent release of the PTV Timetable API has, not surprisingly, created the highest level of interest and activity for a single data release on Data.Vic.

In the 7 days since the release of the API data record we have seen:

  • Over 3500 data record page views
  • More than 700 downloads of the API document, and
  • Close to 100 API key requests

The popularity and power of transport data across the globe is indisputable. The Data.Vic site analytics for the PTV API prove that Victoria is no exception. Transport data, and the third party apps built from it, is the most effective and practical example of government data re-use.

It has been interesting to see the reaction to the release of the API in the flurry of conversations and comments on both Data.Vic and across social media. The general sentiment has been positive and welcoming of the release. There has been some discussion over options, including GTFS, and requests for database dumps. All comments and suggestions received are passed onto PTV for review.

PTV advise that other popular formats will follow. This initial release of timetable data via the PTV API allows for content to be created, updated and automatically released across multiple channels and complies with the Governments DataVic Access policy. The API file format is recognised globally as being the best format for releasing timetable data as it changes. PTV has advised that a major upgrade to their timetable management platform is underway to improve efficiencies and data administration. This will result in other data delivery options being made available, including GTFS.

Information updates will be posted on Data.Vic as and when they are received. 

  , .

Join the conversation

PTV Timetable API now available

Submitted on Friday, 07th March - 15.10.

Feedback is encouraged, so please feel free to make comments on the service.

The PTV Timetable API has been created to give the public direct access to Public Transport Victoria’s public transport timetable data. It is designed so that the raw timetable data is accessed in a dynamic way, ensuring that the data accessed is always the most up to date PTV has.

The API allows developers to query locations for scheduled timetable, line and stop data for all metropolitan and regional train, tram and bus services in Victoria (including NightRider). It also includes access to myki ticket outlet data. The PTV timetable API is the same API currently used by PTV for its website and smartphone apps.

Access to the API is available now from the data.vic

Feedback is encouraged, so please feel free to make comments on the service.

  , , , , .

Join the conversation

Data Vic competition presents unlimited opportunities for innovative use of data

Submitted on Wednesday, 12th February - 15.10.

The Data Vic Competition is now open for registration and will close on 28 February 2014. The winners will be announced at the Connect Expo on 14 March 2014.

Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips is encouraging members of industry, academia, government and the general public to get creative in the Data Vic Competition by using data housed on 

The competition, an initiative between the Victorian Government and Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA), offers four prizes of $2,500, along with the opportunity to consult with the Victorian Government to further develop the winning projects and benefit from mentorship with members of SIBA.

Mr Rich-Phillips said this is a great opportunity for the Victorian community to discover more about

“ presents a wealth of opportunities to access government data and turn it into innovation, which will benefit Victorians and the broader community,” Mr Rich Phillips said.

“The competition also provides opportunities for other datasets not currently available through the Data.Vic directory to be discovered. The possibilities are endless.”

The competition aims to encourage users, creatives and visionaries to interact with, and gain a better understanding of, the untapped potential of the data.

The winning entries will showcase how government data can be used to serve a market need, or address industrial, environmental or community issues.
“This provides a great opportunity to discover new datasets and to work together to create both traditional and non-traditional applications for wider use and for the benefit of the Victorian public,” Mr Rich Phillips said.

The Data Vic Competition is now open for registration and will close on 28 February 2014. The winners will be announced at the Connect Expo on 14 March 2014.

  , , , , .

Join the conversation