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Digital Transformation in Government Insight #19: data for transformation

Started in 2010, Apps4NSW is an open data initiative with one goal: to create innovative apps for NSW citizens.

Salsa Digital 10 October 2016

What is Apps4NSW?

Apps4NSW started in 2010 as a competition to “capture innovative ideas using public sector information and data that are useful to the people of NSW.” The initiative supports open government and open data, to provide better services to citizens. If it sounds familiar, it’s probably because it shares many traits with GovHack, something we blogged about recently.

The apps

Open data has been the foundation of many apps in NSW (and other states/territories) and is used in a variety of settings for app creation. Some of the apps created specifically for the Apps4NSW competition are:

  • Seniors Card NSW — giving seniors access to a discount directory.

  • The Art of Science, Butterfly and Moth Paintings — based on the scientific paintings of Harriet and Helena Scott.

  • TriviaPic NSW — a game app that draws on government info for trivia questions and facts about iconic landmarks.

  • Demographic Drapes — linking with ABS data and other sources to provide demographic info.

  • Towns Through Time — provides images of local areas to users.

You can find more information about open data apps in NSW, in the Apps Showcase page. This includes winning apps from Apps4NSW as well as apps developed in other settings.

Salsa Digital’s take

There’s no doubt that apps have the power to transform the way we do things, and they certainly have a strong place in digital transformation in government. Like all things digital (and open!) Salsa Digital is definitely a fan and advocate for using government open data to create apps that deliver benefits to citizens. Apps4NSW provides a great forum for state-focused apps.

Website application is another great use of open data, something we focused on during GovHack2016.

State/territory links

If you’re interested in what other states are doing with their open data, and what datasets are available, check out these websites:

VIC gov data

QLD gov data

ACT gov data

SA gov data

WA gov data

TAS gov data

NT gov data (go to

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