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GovHack Red Carpet Awards winners demonstrate innovative use of open data for real-world outcomes

Above image: A 3D rendition of the Great Artesian Basin. Credit: https://basin3d.wordpress.com/

Renewable energy and science education entries have won Geoscience Australia-sponsored GovHack awards announced over the weekend at the 2017 GovHack Red Carpet Awards in Brisbane.

GovHack is a cross-Tasman competition that encourages technical innovation using freely-available government data. Sponsorship of hackathon initiatives such as GovHack are without doubt in the spirit of the Australian Government's Science and Innovation Agenda, with government agencies and industry committed to finding ways to make it easier to find, access and reuse public data.

Geoscience Australia has been a proud GovHack sponsor over a number of years, and in 2017 sponsored the Best STEM Hack, Best Resource Hack and a Bounty Prize to encourage an innovative application of Geoscience Australia's Great Artesian Basin digital datasets.

"As the national geoscientific agency, Geoscience Australia is keen to inspire practical and innovative solutions with our freely-accessible and open data," said Geoscience Australia's Chief Information Officer, Antony Stinziani.

"We are particularly excited that non-geoscientists are able to use our data for real-world outcomes," Mr Stinziani explained.

The Best Resource Hack was won by Team Hackunamatata with their entry SunSpot. SunSpot is a proof of concept tool using location.sa.gov.au satellite imagery to identify solar panels on houses to create location-based solar output profiles, with the ability to remotely detect existing solar panels and to estimate their potential power output.

Screen capture of the Sunspot tool which won Best Resource Hack in GovHack 2017

The winner of the Best STEM Hack was Forward Thinkers with their entry SciSearch. This web application guides domestic and international students, academics and businesses to specialised higher education facilities in Queensland. This enables them to easily find facilities and equipment, allowing them to stay abreast of cutting edge technology.

An Honourable Mention was also given to the b3d entry by Team Orange in the Great Artesian Basin Bounty prize category. They made a great attempt at printing the Great Artesian Basin in 3D. Watch their short overview video here.

Geoscience Australia holds a vast range of geoscientific and geographic data that supports the management of Australia's precious water resources, hazard modelling for safer communities, exploration for mineral and petroleum resources, as well as helping to manage Australia's maritime jurisdictions. All of Geoscience Australia's datasets are available to explore via Geoscience Australia's Data and Publications Search.

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