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Thursday, 02 July 2015 23:54

ABC gives 9.5 million records to GovHack


The ABC will supply over 9.5 million records as part of its sponsorship of GovHack, Australia’s annual open data competition.

The broadcaster's records will provide 1,500 aspiring digital innovators with the opportunity to work with new data sources and create innovative digital applications and information sets.

GovHack 2015 takes place in Australia and New Zealand from 3-5 July, with the competition aimed at  opening the doors on government data, providing Australian and New Zealand citizens with access to information to help build upon its social and economic value.

GovHack also provides participants with the opportunity to develop their technical and creative capacities, with teams having a 46-hour window in which to create a proof of concept together with a short video that explains how this data could be repurposed for public benefit.

The two ABC datasets for release in GovHack 2015 include:

Television Broadcast Data Archive 1978-2011: The dataset contains 9.5 million selected records related to ABC Television’s broadcast scheduling systems between 1978 and 2011. A single record may contain such information as a program name, duration, broadcast time, broadcast station, censorship rating and episode number. The dataset is an interesting insight into ABC Television’s contribution to the Australian cultural zeitgeist

ABC Local Online Photo Stories 2009-2014: The dataset contains metadata and links for 8,500 photo stories created across Australia by ABC Local Online reporters. It will provide GovHack participants with information including a story’s title, location, station, subject and keywords, with links allowing further exploration of the story and images. The stories represent a small sample of the ABC’s contribution to regional story-telling.

Director of ABC Digital Network, Angela Clark, said the ABC backs GovHack because it “actively supports the pursuit of innovation and holds itself as an pioneer in the Australian media sector.”

“In 1932, when just 6% of Australians had a radio licence, ABC Radio began. In 1956, when just 2% of households in Sydney and Melbourne had televisions, the ABC started ABC Television. In 1994, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics had not yet begun measuring internet use, the ABC launched ABC Online.

“In the same way, the ABC supports the innovative vision and potential of GovHack 2015, recognising that the availability of digital data presents opportunities for innovative approaches to investigative journalism and creative means of processing open data.

“By engaging with civic developer communities through GovHack 2015, the ABC hopes to see participants engage deeply in their projects and find new ways to use the datasets to explain contemporary life. In doing so, the ABC is pleased to be promoting civic engagement and innovation and wishes the participants every success.”

The ABC datasets join ten other sets from different government agencies, each of which will be turned over to the participants during the GovHack challenge.

For more information on GovHack 2015, click here


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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