Monday, July 14, 2014

Australia Through Time - iPad App

On the weekend 11-13 July 2014 various Australian government institutions had invited to join GovHack 2014.

Governments collect and publish enormous amounts of data, but have limited resources to get it into the hands of their citizens in engaging ways. GovHack is an event to draw together people from government, industry, academia and of course, the general public to mashup, reuse, and remix government data. GovHack is about finding new ways to do great things and encouraging open government and open data.

Most projects targeted the obvious data, like census data or the national archives. Science data are not that attractive because the sources are normally not accessible through simple API and often domain knowledge is needed to understand the data. Not all entries have to be applications in the sense of an app, also interactive infographics are welcome. One entry this year made use of data from Geoscience Australia to make an interactive infographic of the development of the Australian continent through time.

The Australia Through Time iPad App is an interactive app that runs on iPad or in the browser, showing the geological, mineral and biological history of Australia from the Cambrian to the present. It is based on the Australia Through Time poster by Geoscience Australia.This app presents the data in a visually appealing format, condensing it into smaller, readable screens and includes an animated sea-level bar and continental-drift visualization which makes changes in the data more apparent. It uses an intuitive drag gesture to slide through the timeline and display varying content.

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