GovHack 2013: Tell me a Story

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Data is commonly presented in a structured tabular and un-engaging manner. This web app endevoured to present information on Canberra in a fun, personalised, engaging and narrative fashion. Essentially, it uses historical data on Canberra to tell a story about the last 100 years. 100 Years 100 Stories utilises various data sources to create such a narrative that describes each year of Canberra’s Centenary, including statistics, photos, videos, fun facts and more. Rather than displaying fact and figures data has been placed into sentences to form a more friendly experience.

The intended users of this app are Canberrans who want to relive or explore the past of this unique city. The app does this through presenting Canberra’s story in an interesting and personable format. The interface was designed to be minimalistic and includes a single function for interacting with the content. Upon landing on the homescreen the user is prompted by the statement “Tell me a story about Canberra in…” and a dropdown box to select a year from 1913 to 2013. Once a selection has been made an infographic is created below which presents the data a story-like narrative.

View the app online here: 100 Years 100 Stories

Technology Data has been collected into a very simple database or queried directly from the Trove APIs and the in-memory cached. A python django application collects data from a given year and collates in into a single JSON response. This response is then interpreted client-side using JavaScript and the “tiles” are generated using Mustache.js, a client-side templating library. This allows for quick development as adding an addition data source simple requires an extra JSON fragment and an extra mustache template (simply a snippet of HTML).

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