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Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

National Map Open Data initiative to boost innovation

9 July 2014

The Government has launched the National Map Open Data initiative, sending a clear message to our industries, global competitors and partners that Australia is open for business.

The Map is part of the Government's commitment to increasing the number of publicly available datasets.

The initiative gives users access to a single platform for Government geospatial datasets, including those from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Bureau of Statistics and data.gov.au.

The geospatial data is visually presented in a map format, enabling users to see the data that they extract. Currently available datasets cover information on land, water, infrastructure, broadband access, boundaries and population, with more to come.

The National Map embraces Open Data principles, providing an open framework of geospatial data services that supports commercial and community innovation, for the benefit of all Australians and the Australian economy.

Its potential will be on show at this week's GovHack 2014 event (11–13 July), an annual competition that brings over 1,000 budding developers together with data custodians and mentors to create the best mashups, data visualisations and apps using government open data.

The nationwide competition — sponsored by various government agencies and digital companies — attracts ‘hackers’ of all ages from industry, the public sector, civil society, universities and schools. Prizes worth over $70,000 are awarded to the development of the most exciting and innovative prototype apps.

The Australian Government's support for GovHack 2014 and the National Map initiative are examples of this Government delivering on its election commitments for Open Data and an open economy. This commitment has seen the number of datasets available on data.gov.au increase more than seven-fold to 3,500 since the new Government came to power.

The Map was developed by the Department of Communications in collaboration with NICTA and Geoscience Australia.

The National Map is available at http://nationalmap.nicta.com.au.

For information on GovHack 2014, visit http://www.govhack.org/.

Media contact: David Bold 0423 202 369

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