Cities around the world are increasingly capitalizing on public data through local and regional “Open Data” initiatives and platforms. A major goal of such programs is to improve transparency and efficiency of government services. However, using big open data to generate economic and social value relies on the methodological capacity to render the masses of data into meaningful and, most importantly, useful information. Being able to extract useful findings is crucial to making cities 'smarter', empowering new civic movements, and changing the way citizens experience urban life.
The potential benefits of open data often go beyond generating economic activity. The social impact of open data is significant too, although less recognized. It could improve political transparency, enhance education and research, support personal decision-makings, promote more inclusive developments, support advocacy efforts, and increase public data literacy.
Over the past weekend, we hosted a GovHack 2015 node at Monash University, Clayton with four enthusiastic teams getting together to blast the competition with six projects. Projects submitted from our node include:
- Mapping Pedestrian Activities & Safety in City of Melbourne by Monash City Science
- Indigenous Population Dot Map of Australia by Monash City Science
- Chinese Population Dot Map of Australia by Monash City Science
- Disaster Warning Service for Australian Transportation by The Four
- Affordably by XYW
- Don't Panic by the Two David's