GovHack is an annual competition that brings together geeks, digital creatives, data analysts, story tellers, entrepreneurs and civic society enthusiasts to work together in teams over 46 Hours to explore, mash up, ideate and communicate your concepts using open Government data.

Teams are eligible for some great prizes, in addition to honour and fame:

  • Local Prizes
  • People’s Choice Award
  • Global GovHack Prizes
  • Spirit of GovHack Prizes for outstanding participation and collaboration both locally and overall

A few lucky local representatives from GovHack finalists teams may also receive flights and accommodation to the GovHack Red Carpet Awards.

We provide everything you’ll need (BYO laptop & developer tools) to create to your heart’s content, for glory, or money, or both!

Have a good time, conduct yourself well, enjoy working with others, build relationships, and walk away knowing that you’ve left the open data cause a little bit better than you found it. Most of all look forward to seeing some awesome outcomes created by talented people.

1. Data

Make sure you keep an eye on the Hackerspace Data page in July and August as it is updated with national and local competition datasets to play with. The competition challenges won’t be announced till the Friday at the GovHack launch (7.00pm at your registered location) but you can start familiarising yourself with datasets in the meantime.

Make sure you use Official GovHack data in your concept and check if the prize category you are going for has data use requirements. You can use other sourced openly licensed data in your concept but make sure Official Government data is the hero of the story!

Why not contact your locations Government data portal peeps and request data you think would be cool to play with!  It cant hurt to ask!

2. The Competition

The competition includes an international, national and regional (state/territory) component. Everyone can compete in the international competition, however the national and regional competitions are restricted to their respective areas. Some challenges in regional competitions are open to all regions to participate in – these will be shown on the challenge page. So you’ll have a lot of interesting options available to you wherever you are.

Please familiarise yourself with the competition rules, eligibility criteria and judging criteria on the website ahead of the weekend. Full challenge details for your competition will be published on the Hackerspace at 7.00pm at your location.

Check out the Developer Kit page for some ideas on great tools and tech you can use on the day.

3. Submitting your entry

The Hackerspace (where you register to participate) will be used over the competition weekend to create your team and record your hack(s).

Eligible entries must have

  • a descriptive project page you make in Hackerspace
  • tell your open data story on your page – short description of how you have hacked the data to make it more useful, informative or engaging
  • the 3 minute video you submit (link to actual video must be lodged on your project page) and
  • the source (code/schema/design) you provide.

Be prepared and leave yourself enough time on the weekend to fill out the project page and to make a short video that best shows off your project. History tells us you should start loading your video at least 1 hour before the 5pm deadline!

4. Mentors

You will be able to get support from mentors about particular datasets and technologies at your local events or on the GovHack Slack. You can simply check the list of mentors on the Mentors page, identify whom you want to talk to and contact them accordingly. This list will be fully up to date by the Friday of the competition. Check your registered location page for the details on how to access local mentors.

5. Remote Participants

If you are unable to join a physical event, you can compete remotely by registering as a digital participant in your respective region. You will have access to all the same information, data and can talk to mentors remotely on the GovHack Slack.

6. Timing

The GovHack competition will run from Friday 7:00pm through to Sunday 4:00pm with some announcements beforehand and afterwards. The specific competition details will be put online at 7:00pm and will also be available on the Hackerspace where you will register your self, team and your hack. Several of the locations are running great introduction and preparation sessions before the competition kicks off so make sure you check out your local event page for more information. Your awesome and volunteer local organisers will look after you and have put a lot of effort into making sure you have everything you need for a great weekend. Make sure you say thanks!

There will be a couple of prizes and announcements at the end of the GovHack weekend, including the Local Spirit of GovHack prize at Official Locations, which is all about which team shows the best ethos, collaboration and sense of civic duty.

7. The Red Carpet Awards

All International GovHack prizes will be announced at the Red Carpet Awards. Some lucky finalists will be flown from each location to the Awards which will be publicly live streamed and there will inevitably be a number of winners not present, so make sure you tune in to the awards to see if your team has won. Winners will be notified by email and published on the Winners page on the night of the Red Carpet Awards.

8. Local event details

Finally, obviously check out your local event page for details on venue, parking, and make sure you find out from your local event coordinators about what is happening in your city regarding the national and local Awards.