[LINK] Mash-up Government Data to Save the World

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Oct 31 11:38:43 AEDT 2009

Greetings from GovHack at the ANU in Canberra.This is an Australian 
Government supported event being held October 30 and 31 2009 at the ANU 
- CSIT - Building 108 Canberra, Australia. The idea is that the 
Australian Government is providing access to government data sets and 
assistance in using the data and seeing what the community can do with 
the data.

I am not actually in Canberra for the event. I left the GovHack team at 
the Purple Pickle Cafe at the ANU. I travelled to Sydney for a Climate 
Change talk by Professor Lambeck, of the ANU Research School of Earth 
Sciences. The disturbing result from the extensive research presented is 
that new models predict a larger rise in sea level than those used by 
the IPCC. The situation with sea level rise due to climate change is 
much worse than previous thought. More and more prompt action will be 
required to address sea level rise than is being planned in current 
political processes. None of the proposals currently being prepared by 
government for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 
Copenhagen December (UNFCCC CoP 15) are sufficient to avert the coming 
global disaster.

One technology we have to mitigate and adapt is the Internet. Because 
the Internet is already widely available and is being rapidly expanded, 
it can be deployed far faster than other technologies, such as new power 
generating stations, carbon sequestration or sea walls. One resource to 
be used is existing government data which the Internet can make 
available for climate change.

One area the Australian Government could provide data to combat climate 
change is with its $100M Smart Grid Project. The government could 
require the successful bidders to make the data available in real time 
to authorised users and in near real time freely to the general public.

Some other proposals I put to the APEC Climate Change Symposium in 
Canberra this week:

    1. Green Technology Strategies education: Broaden the content and 
add multimedia, mobile phone and village classroom options to the Green 
Technologies strategy course to make it available in APEC countries at 
the local level.

       Innovation Climate Change: Expand the InnovationACT project to 
the APEC region. In a one year trial Australian and Korea will have 
teams of  students working online on climate change innovations. Prizes 
will be awarded for the best project. Teams  will be required to include 
participants from at least two APEC countries.


       Green Certification: Expand the COA Green ICT certification 
scheme to APEC, providing web tools to ICT green certify organizations.

    4. Protect cultural records from climate change: Climate change 
represents a significant risk to cultural records in the Asia Pacific 
region. Many cultural institutions are located near the sea and will be 
at threat from inundation. The ANU course Systems Approach to the 
Management of Government Information would be expanded to provide 
training and resources for government and non-government cultural 
institutions to catalogue and digitally preserve their materials. 
Background: Report on a Workshop on the Use of Technology for Museums of 
the Pacific Islands Region 2005 and Semantic Web for Museums
       Final Report.

For links, see: 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Lecturer, The Australian National University t: 02 61255694
Computer Science http://cs.anu.edu.au/people.php?StaffID=140274

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