GovHack Gold Coast Wrap-up

Written by
Joshua Holmes
Published on
August 22, 2016
Read time

What a weekend!

GovHack Gold Coast was held over the weekend July 29th – 31st. Griffith University hosted the event both at the Gold Coast and Logan Campus’s, with City of Gold Coast once again providing major sponsorship for our local event. It was an awesome experience for all involved and feedback has been very positive. The official Gold Coast event was just one of 41 events held across Australia and New Zealand at the same time.
GovHack sees competitors spending 46 hours building projects from open government data- thousands of datasets exist ranging from real time public transport information, location of government services to national heritage lists and weather data.

With the help on several wonderful mentors from the City of Gold Coast, Queensland Government, IBM and professionals in the UX/UI and web development industries, this year, around 35 competitors formed five teams presented six different projects they had completed across the weekend. These ranged from an app that allows you to track and identify local wildlife to a public website that allows locals to rate their council’s facilities in real time.

Red Zone

Local judges included serial entrepreneur and Startup Catalyst CEO Aaron Birkby, Griffith Enterprise Business Innovation Manager Hunter Walkenhorst and City of Gold Coast’s Open Data Enterprise Information Architect, John Galvin. These fantastic judges saw fit to award the following prizes:

Best of Gold Coast and Entrepreneur’s Award- Search Party.

Search Party is a mobile application that co-ordinates the public in searching for missing persons, utilizing GPS tracking to generate a 'heat map'. This app hopes to improve the detection of missing persons by improving the efficiency of volunteers using the app by indicating areas which have not been searched and points of interest.
The app uses Government data to retrieve information about missing persons and locations of interest.

Search Party

Best Use of Gold Coast Data- Snap Ranger.

The app provides the means to identify and educate oneself about local wildlife whilst enjoying the Gold Coast's scenic nature.
Using a digital map on the Snap Ranger app, a user can travel to known locations in the real world to try and find animals whose locations have been recorded by previous government studies. When an animal of significance is located, he can take a photo and log the record.
For this app, open data from Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council have been used including national park locations, endangered animal locations and places where studies have been recorded regarding the environment on the Gold Coast.

Snap Ranger

Other projects developed at the Gold Coast event included:


The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ will see a huge capital infrastructure outlay. This app aims to improve the connection between sports, venues and people to be more active and better use time and resources and build community before, during and after the Games.
This app uses City of Gold Coast facilities data and State Government Commonwealth Games facilities and venues data.

Where 2 Go

This is an all-in-one dynamic app that can be used for any event, tourism agency or local council. The initial concept was based on providing an interactive age-friendly application that is simple enough for any person to use for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™.
Functionality includes; alternate accommodation options, real-time risk and crisis data to ensure public safety and help avoid traffic jams and adverse weather conditions, near real-time data for beach users, events geo-pins utilising Commonwealth Games Locations and predictive recommendations of events, attractions, dining options and complementary points of interest.
This app uses over 15 different Queensland and Gold Coast Government datasets.

Your Local Opinion

Your Local Opinion lets members of the public review and comment on public assets in the community, providing knowledge to others about the different levels of cleanliness, family friendliness, accessibility or other important points of interest for community members.
This app uses both national and local city datasets.

The judges made comment on the high caliber of projects this year against previous years.

Across Australia, more than 400 projects were submitted, using more than 1,200 datasets from over 490 providers, making it the biggest GovHack yet.

The future can only get bigger from here.

Your Local Opinion

The State Awards are scheduled for the 2nd September in Brisbane.

Further details on the GovHack projects can be found at

Headshot of Josh in black and white

Joshua Holmes

Josh is a product design leader based in Melbourne, Australia.
He has been working in the design space for 7 years across various industries.