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:

  • 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 official GovHack 2015 data page as it is being updated daily with national and local competition datasets to play with. The competition goals won’t be announced till Friday July 3rd 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 both a national and local component. Everyone can compete in the national competition and then each location also has a local competition that people in that location can compete for. 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 competition details will be published on the 2015 Prizes page at 7:00pm 3 July at your location.

Check out the Developer Kit page for some ideas on great tools and tech you can use on the day, plus there’s lots of great information in the Participants Kit.

3.Lodging your entry
A HackerSpace will be available on the weekend to register yourself, your team and 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 Vid 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 Vid at least 1 hour before the 5pm deadline!

4. Mentors
There will be mentors at your venue, and there will also be additional mentors available in Australia if you need their specialised assistance. The Australian Mentors will be contactable via the HackerSpace forum, on Twitter or by emailing them. You can simply check the list of mentors on the Mentors page, identify who you want to talk to and contact them accordingly. This list will be fully up to date by the 3rd July.

5. Timing
The GovHack competition will run from Friday 7:00pm 3rd July until Sunday 5:00pm 5 July, 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 yourself, your team, and your hack. Your awesome volunteers and local organisers will look after you; they 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 :)

4. The Red Carpet Awards
All International GovHack prizes will be announced at the Red Carpet Awards. Some lucky finalists will be flown from each Official 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 a Winners page on the night of the Red Carpet Awards. Most local events will have a small evening event to watch the awards and announce their local competition winners. Again, please refer to your local event page as one or two local awards night are on a different night, but you can tune into the national awards from the GovHack front page where the youtube live stream will be embedded on the night.

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