Transport for NSW opens treasure trove of data at GovHack 2017

Open data is a game changer for the way we solve problems.

Transport for NSW once again threw their support behind GovHack 2017, giving researchers and developers the opportunity to dig deep into Opal and traffic data to find ways to ease congestion on our roads and transport networks. 

"The amazing thing about events like GovHack is that it opens up the communication line between the software developer community and governments," Transport for NSW, Deputy Secretary Customer Service Tony Braxton-Smith said.

"Open data is a game changer for the way we solve problems, it provides the intelligence for insight and invention and it allows government and developers to help translate information into more reliable and useful everyday apps and services.

“It would be hard to imagine your daily bus or train ride to work without real time transport apps.”

GovHack is an annual ‘hackathon’ competition that brings together technology creatives and innovators from the private, public and government sectors, where government data is opened up as a way to explore and discover new ways to help create a better society.

Alongside their support of GovHack as a Gold sponsor, Transport for NSW has also made a commitment to provide Open Data to the developer community to better serve customers and create digital solutions as part of their Future Transport Program.

The Opal tap on tap off dataset has been developed in partnership with Data61 (part of CSIRO and Australia’s leading digital research network). It has been de-identified and processed in a way that protects the privacy of individual customers and has multiple levels of security to prevent misuse.

"When it comes to Open Data we are leaders in this space. While GovHack encourages governments both state and federal to hand over the keys to their trove of data, this is something Transport for NSW is doing on a daily basis since the launch of our Open Data program in 2015," Mr Braxton-Smith said.

Today Transport for NSW supplies real-time data to apps with more than five million unique customer downloads in total. The Open Data program makes these datasets, along with other transport data, more broadly available. 

“There’s no doubt data will be the foundation of personalised transport into the future and it’s a connected future that Transport for NSW is hard at work implementing. 

“We look forward to seeing what developers and researchers will be able to come up with from our traffic and Opal tap on and tap off data at GovHack this year, whether it be better management of network capacity, improved traffic flows or more effective disruption management, the possibilities are endless.”

GovHack weekend is Australia’s largest and most geographically distributed hackathon and for the first time this year there are locations in every state and territory.