NAO data blog: Hack the Government 2014

This is a cross-post from the NAO Data Blog.

The original post was written on February 13, 2014 by Nick Halliday and can be found here.

Credit: Paul Clarke

Credit: Paul Clarke

The NAO are hosting the 6th annual Hack the Government event run by Rewired State over the weekend of 8-9 March. This reflects our continuing interest in data and the potential for creating new perspectives on information by processing data innovatively.

If you haven’t heard of the event before, it brings some of the best creative minds together, including developers and designers, along with datasets for a fun and inventive hack. The ‘Hack’ bit comes from the use of existing things, like datasets and combining them to build new products, like mobile applications.

So this is hacking in the good sense – all the work is done with the help and permission of the participating organisations. These organisations often provide easier access to existing published data, or make new data available for the developers to work upon. For security reasons all the work is done on devices separate from corporate networks.

The impetus behind the event is to make working prototypes, with the aim of improving transparency, open data in the Public Sector and also improving relationships between the Government and active citizens.

There are prizes for the most innovative use of the data, with previous winners including projects such as:

– Don’t Eat There, which used the Food Standards Agency data to give warnings to users about restaurants hygiene ratings;

– Loftify, which is a service that calculates the best way to make home heating efficient; and

– Bicycle Barometer, which collates data on the tube network and the weather to work out whether it would be better to cycle or use public transport at a given point in time.

Hack the Government will be hosting over 200 people in London and around the UK, at events in Bournemouth, Leeds, Exeter, and Glasgow. The attendees include policy makers, developers, designers, and data scientists.

Prizes will be awarded to the best teams from each centre. They will also have the opportunity to compete in a finale later in the year, with all the winning teams from each of the centres showcasing what they have built to an elite panel of judges. There should be some exciting prototypes to look forward to!

To find out more, Rewired State’s website has details of this year’s event and previous hacks.

Hashtag for the event is : #NHTG14

NAO will be tweeting from the event using our @NAOdata Twitter account.

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