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Registrations open for Auckland's first civic hackathon
Posted on 24-Apr-2014 15:31. | Tags Filed under: News.

HACKAKL:Transport - to be held on the 24th and 25th of May at AUT University’s Sir Paul Reeves Building - is free to attend and is being supported by Auckland Transport (AT) in conjunction with AUT University and software house Propellerhead.

The weekend will bring together bright minds who are interested in utilising open government data to develop fresh ideas that will help improve Auckland.

In the run-up to the event, Auckland Transport will publish a beta application programming interface (API) that will open up a wide range of the organisation's data, including real-time bus information, geo-coding, roading and congestion data.

For most people, the word ‘hacking’ has negative connotations. Its strong association with cyber evildoers is well entrenched. However, hacking is a concept that has been with us for centuries - originally associated with innovating and problem solving. In fact, our Kiwi ‘number eight wire’ mentality is essentially a colloquialised reference to hacking. As a country we are full of hackers, ranging from John Britten, Burt Munroe and William Hamilton to Rod Jury and Team New Zealand to name a few.

‘Civic hacking’ has been a growing movement around the globe, particularly the US, for the last 5 years. It’s where central and local government come together with technologists to create better communities. The idea of governments becoming more open is underpinned by voluntarily making data more transparent to citizens. By doing so, governments and public bodies can enable clever people to create things of value for the community.

Roger Jones, Auckland Transport's General Manager of Business Technology, says: "this is a great opportunity for AT to open itself up to new ideas and innovation”.

"I love the idea of being able to democratise government data. This is an exciting opportunity to use crowd-sourcing of ideas to find innovative solutions to some of the everyday problems we face in Auckland," says Andrew Weston, Propellerhead's Managing Director.

AUT senior lecturer at CoLab: Creative Technologies, James Charlton, will be onsite as a creative advisor during HACKAKL:Transport.

“In the creative industries there is a huge amount to learn by taking things apart, “breaking” them and discovering how they work. Hacking fits in well with the innovative, student-centred approach we take at CoLab. So you can be sure there will be a bunch of AUT students joining a cross section of people from the creative industries as they pop the lid on Auckland City’s ‘big data’!” says Charlton.

A key goal of the event is to establish a community that will drive the civic hacking and open government data agenda in Auckland.

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