Happy hacking

FREMANTLE will be Nirvana for altruistic geeks next month when it hosts a “hackathon” aimed at finding the most novel uses for government data.

GovHack pits teams and individuals against each other to develop web or mobile apps that make use of open source data (called a hack), some of which is released by government departments specifically for the event.

Two years ago there were more than 2300 participants who took part in events around the country.

One of the standout efforts, which dominated the awards in 2016, was a project connecting start-up companies with research departments and funding opportunities, while also shining a light on any barriers they faced. Another entrant used shark hazard data to develop a new approach to tracking sharks along WA’s beaches.

Fremantle’s event, to be held on September 6-8, is a partnership between the council and Notre Dame University and will be the hub of WA events.

It will be based at Notre Dame’s Prendiville Hall, but with most participants likely to be from the mobile generation, they are expected to spill out into the city’s cafes and public spaces.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the event fitted in with the council’s aim of positioning Fremantle as a centre of excellence in education, technology and innovation.

“GovHack is a great way to engage the immense talent and creativity we have in Fremantle as we continue to work towards becoming a smart city,” Dr Pettitt said.

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