21 December 2016
Kurt Foster

Awards night

It was great to be Salsa Digital’s representative at the 2016 GovHack International and National Awards. The event, at the State Library of South Australia, was a fun night of networking, innovation, knowledge sharing and a celebration of open data and its many applications.

The event started with tables set up where award winners could demonstrate their apps/websites while also mingling and having a drink or two. I enjoyed taking our entry, Find my Future, through its paces. I took some time away from my demo to look at a few of the other entrants, it was great to see so many interesting ways to use open government data.

After the demo phase of the night was finished we moved into the Mortlock Chamber, a large hall in the library, for the awards ceremony. The audience included other developers (lots of these!) and representatives from government. There were at least 200 people, maybe 300, so it was a great turnout of like-minded people.

And the winners are…

There were heaps of categories, so lots of award winners on the night. It’s hard to pick the standouts, but a few that caught my attention include:

  1. Future Proof by The Coding Collective. This project won a few awards, including pipping us to the post for the Future Australia Hack (we came equal second). Similar to our Find my Future, Future Proof, uses data to match human resources to industry requirements and analyse current trends and predict future trends. Future Proof also won the Local Industry Activity Award, the Securing Personal Property Award and the Training Data Award.

  2. Search Party by GovHack Search Party. This mobile app helps to coordinate searches for missing people, by using GPS and datasets to work out what areas have already been searched and what areas need to be searched. Search Party won the Creative Communities Hack and the Innovative Ideas Hack, and also received an Honourable Mention in the Community Resilience Hack.

  3. John Conner by Towoomba Trio. This project alerts QLD vegetable growers if their crops are likely to be hit by heat stress, so they can take remedial action. It turns basic data into more useable info for farmers. John Conner won the Paddock to Plate Hack…and I got to hang out with its creators.

  4. 3D Printed Geophysical Data by Petrified Data. This project uses data and traditional 2D maps to create a 3D map for printing that geologists can study to help identify ore bodies deep underground. They won the Exploring Underground Award and received an Honourable Mention in the Innovative Ideas Hack.

  5. Sweetspot by Four Planners and a Panda. Sweetspot uses employment, building, residential and traffic data to find good locations to start or expand a business in Melbourne. This project won the award for a Commercially Viable Hack.

  6. IPGODMODE by Team Avinium. IPGODMODE provides patent applicants with an estimate on when a decision will be made on their patent, using machine-learning analytics. IPGODMODE also provides a 3D/virtual reality view of a patent portfolio that shows nodes and connections. IPGODMODE came second in the international Machine Learning Hack, won the Entrepreneurial Hack, and came equal second in the Data Intelligence Hack (Data journalism, spatial modelling, analytics). Another big winner on the night.

  7. TaxLess by Team Tax. This app aims to optimise people’s tax returns by comparing deductions with people on a similar wage and in a similar industry. TaxLess also uses machine-learning algorithms and was the winner of the Data Intelligence Hack and the Smarter Data Award.

  8. Truthbot by Team Truthbot. Truthbot won the ABC News Content Award and I love what it stands for! It’s an automated fact-checker that checks politician’s Twitter feeds and Tweets back if the politician hasn’t got it right. I like the idea of Truthbot keeping our politicians honest :)

A huge congratulations to all the winners!

How Salsa Digital fared

We were very excited to win joint second in the Future Hack Australia category for our project Find my Future. You can read more about it in our blogs Giving back to GovHack and GovHack 2016.

Wrapping up

After the awards many of us moved to a local pub that had been booked by the event organisers and…well, it was a fun but late night! I’m looking forward to the next GovHack event and hopefully being in the award winners again next year.

Get the latest digital insights and Salsa news

For a roundup of the latest news and insights across digital government, web development, open data and open source please subscribe to Salsa's monthly newsletter. 

Subscribe to our newsletter