Author: Etienne Oosthuysen

This year we got a team together and entered the 2018 Gov Hack competition.  Over the course of 46 hours, we built a solution that brings together fragmented datasets, some of which are listed below, in an Emergency Response solution, adhering to the spirit of Gov Hack by showing the power of Open Data.

The team consisted of Andrew Exley, Cameron Wells, Etienne Oosthuysen, Jake Deed and Jean-Noel Seneque.

See a short summary of our journey and a condensed version of our video submission here:

The solution contains:

  • The architecture and data platform that allows the datasets to be ingested in a periodic and in a real time manner, stored, and blended to serve a variety of emergency related user stories. 
  • A user interface that can be accessed from anywhere (PC or mobile phone) and allows for real time tracking of emergency events vis-a-vis points of interest (such as your home), the nearest point of safety, rolling social media coverage of the event, other points of interest to assist emergency services respond (such as bodies of water for water bomb runs, traffic and congestion, helipads or airports, etc.)
  • A platform by which data can be analysed for trends by analysts working for the emergency services.

Some examples of the datasets:

  • G-NAF (Geocoded National Address File) which is one of the most ubiquitous and powerful spatial datasets. It contains a full geo-spatial description of each address (including the state, suburb, street, number and coordinate reference (or “geocode”) for all street addresses in Australia).This forms the basis of location of people or places, and the distance of people to places, such as your home to a point of safety during an emergency.
  • Twitter and sentiment, especially during emergency events. This helps determine sentiment during an event, such as the inherent urgency during an emergency.
  • Dams (Angus Catchment) by the Department for Environment and Water in South Australia. The dataset contains polygon data outlining the physical extent of dams and estimated dam capacity (volume range in megalitres). This forms the basis of water bomb runs in the case of a bushfire emergency.
  • Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This used in combination with incidents and statistical population to estimate people affected or likely to be affected by incident.
  • Country Fire Service of South Australia live incident feed. This forms the basis of identifying when emergencies occur.
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