Greetings from the home of sideways rain: Ballarat! Over the past couple weeks I have been working with City of Ballarat to help them identify challenges and open up related data in the lead up to GovHack 2015. I have received the warmest of welcomes from the Ballarat community and have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to meet with data owners from each of the council’s business units including Heritage, Works, Assets, Planning, Strategic Planning, Arts and Culture, Accessibility, Traffic Control, Community Development and the CEO Anthony Schink and while each of the business units brought their own tailored issues to the table, there have been some identifiable overarching themes primarily surrounding the future of change within the of the city of Ballarat in response to projected population growth and aging. Surrounding these themes, some excellent datasets have emerged which we will be releasing in the weeks leading up to GovHack for participants of GovHack Ballarat to have a play around with.
Connecting with the Ballarat hacker community at HackerSpace has also been a great asset: not only are they an intelligent and welcoming community of programmers and computer scientists, they also spend a large portion of their time building sensors and other data acquisition hardware they hope will be picked up by the council to help promote the generation of live, open sensor data throughout the city. I have found myself useful not only in making connections in the lead up to GovHack but also creating partnerships that will hopefully hold strong throughout the year and provide opportunities for City of Ballarat and the HackerSpace alike.
Now for a shout-out to all you potential Ballarat hackers! We will be holding a lunchtime meet the data owners event on Wednesday the 27th of May at the Ballarat HackerSpace. This is a fantastic opportunity to build relationships between the hacker community and City of Ballarat and is not to be missed! Anyone from Ballarat and beyond who might like to be involved in the conversation, if I could ask you to please rsvp using the link below, that would be much appreciated.
Thanks for reading and see you all at GovHack!