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  • Powerline Bushfire Safety Program - Vegetation Detection Challenge

    Powerline Bushfire Safety Program30 November 2017

    In 2017 the Victorian Government’s Powerline Bushfire Safety Program (PBSP) called on the data science and technology community for bright ideas to detect vegetation faults on powerlines to improve powerline safety and avoid potential fire risks.

    The Vegetation Detection Challenge (the Challenge) made available comprehensive research data of electrical characteristics of powerline faults for three particular plant species. Four shortlisted teams extrapolated the data to develop a vegetation detection algorithm.

    The full set of data, including tests for 12 vegetation species is still available for use on Data.Vic.

    The Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, Research & Development team aims for this initiative to stimulate the development of existing data to be potentially turned into effective technologies for real-life application of the future.  

    The best proposal in the Challenge received government support to access industry and research collaborators to aid in progressing their innovative concept to potentially develop improved detection equipment.

    Watch the video to hear from the competing teams and find out who was awarded the Challenge winner.

    Read the proposal summary sheets developed by the teams below. For access to the team's algorithms, please refer to the PBSP Vegetation Detection Challenge page.

    Proposal - Yidan Shang and Nan Li

  • GovHack 2017 Challenge - Free from Violence

    Data.Vic Team28 July 2017


    Challenge owner - Department of Premier and Cabinet

    Of women over the age of 15: 

    1 in 3 has experienced physical violence  1 in 4 has experienced physical or sexual violence  1 in 5 has experienced sexual violence. 

    In May 2017 the Victorian government released Free from violence.  Victoria's strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women 

    How do we ensure that every Victorian is aware of the drivers of violence and what needs to be done to address them, as well as their individual responsibility to prevent it. 


  • GovHack 2017 Challenge - Rethinking Data: From and content

    Data.Vic Team28 July 2017


    Challenge owner - Department of Premier and Cabinet

    Governments seek evidence based solutions. Government data does not live in isolation. How can we combine office government data with other sources to create new insights? Telling stories with data isn't just about cleaning up and making sense of numbers so are there ways to bring datasets together in creative ways. Can we present data in formats like sound, film, games etc.? 

    Data sources  - we want you to look far and wide for your data and think way outside the box on this one. 
    National Film and TV Archive; Hansard ; data.vic, data.nsw, etc 

  • GovHack Challenge 2017 - Traffic condition information for consumption and dissemination

    Data.Vic Team28 July 2017


    Challenge owner - VicRoads

    The lack of availability of traffic condition information for consumption and dissemination by data aggregators and information brokers to ensure road network users can access journey planning and decision making information is impacting the ability of Melbournians to retain and enhance their quality of life.

    This also impacts Melbourne's reputation as a productive and attractive global city as network reliability and productivity are also impacted. The key theme which underpins supporting integrated transport choices was the need for a single authoritative source for full travel information that the key stakeholders can access. While there are many third party sources (e.g. Google / Apple Maps, which supply certain elements of related information, there is still an unfulfilled service demand for a more holistic solution.

    Can a pre-trip journey planner be designed to provide the public with options for determining the optimal means of travelling between two or more given locations, using one or more transport mode/s including public transport car, pedestrian and bicycle routing and taking into account user preferences and constraints? Could it taken into account user preferences and constraints may include desired transport mode/s, time and/or date of travel, for cars the user may choose tolls , for bicycles the user may choose either shortest path or avoiding traffic?

    VicRoads Data

  • GovHack 2017 Challenge - A chat-bot for navigating VicGov spatial data

    Data.Vic Team28 July 2017


    Challenge Owner - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

    Making data accessible is about much more than shoving it on a website; data needs to be understandable and user-friendly. Government should meet users where they are at, not demand you scale great mountains of jargon to reach our Rapunzel data. We live in an era of mass-personalisation and our data services should follow suit. Let’s have a conversation about our awesome data, to help you find and use it better. Let’s try and codify some of our expertise and serve this out to data users along with the data itself.

    The Aim of this Challenge is to create a chatbot application that helps users find and understand open spatial data products, utilising the published metadata, product descriptions, FAQ’s, etc about the products but presenting it in a more conversational and user-directed way. It will help users – who might be researchers, students, other government personnel and policy people, application developers, and citizen-scientists - find and understand if data is fit-for-purpose for their needs.

    DELWP stores and publishes many open spatial datasets available from the Victorian government; DELWP is the Custodian for the Vicmap suite of foundation spatial data products, maintains the metadata stores, enables data to be consumed by open data portals such as and, and delivers downloadable content via Spatial DataMart. This data is authoritative, accurate, and freely available to the public.  The data can be used for many purposes but understanding where to start, and the metadata and product descriptions that come with this data can be daunting; terminology can be domain-specific, and many pages of content may need to be read to understand whether a dataset is appropriate for a particular use. Discovery portals help narrow content down, but a user still needs to process many pages of technical metadata descriptions to get answers to specific questions they may have about the data – and reference to a dictionary may also be required! From a certain perspective, this is appropriate; DELWP follows rigorous international standards in the formal description of our data. However, it can lead to descriptions like this:

    Vicmap Admin comprises several individual datasets. Each is topologically structured and models all designated and gazetted boundaries across the whole of Victoria. The Vicmap Admin spatial data set consists of a series of polygons depicting administrative boundaries, which in turn, define a state-wide coverage of contiguous non-overlapping polygons. In combination these polygons represent the entire administration area of Victoria.

    While that is specific and correct, a non-GIS professional might have a hard time understanding whether this is the dataset to use to find council boundaries.