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This weekend, we’ve brought to you The Birthday Party of a Century, a web based application which brings a calendar of the ACT’s centenary event to all of those Canberra Citizens who would take part in the Canberra centenary celebrations, but find it too difficult to find events to attend due to obscure spreadsheets and poorly designed websites. Our application ultimately aims to increase the attendence of Canberrans and visitors at the many events throughout the year.

Rather than simply presenting a list of  events and their respective dates in a massive wall of text, The Birthday Party of a Century gives tbe user an easy to understand map, showing all the Canberra Centenary events geographically, along with the time until it starts, the event description, when the next event is, how many events are remaining, and even step by step directions from your current location to each event.

To create this web app, we used the dataACT ACT Centenary Events data set in conjunction with PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Jquery. It also utilizes the Google Maps V3 API and the Directions API in order to bring the map and step by step directions to the user.

The dataACT dataset behind our application did not contain latitude and longitude coordinates, only place names. So, due to a rate limit on the Google Geocoding API, we had to utilize the Yahoo Geocoding API in order to convert all the place names to latitudes and longitudes.

Furthermore, the dataset itself was riddled with completely incorrect dates - no event occurs after the 13th of the month and the bulk of the events are listed as occuring between 1899 and 1920. As such, most events show "Sorry, we don't have a date for this, take a look here for more info" (with a link to the centenary website), even though this feature is fully functional.

If development was to continue on this project, we would be sure to include a search function in order for the user to be able to search for a specific event. We would also have liked a calender and “Closest To You”  feature, though with broken dates on most of the events this would likely point to an event which has already occured.

The Birthday Party of a Century has the opportunity to help, not only those Canberra citizens who want an easy way to display of all the Centenary events and how to get to them, but for visitors coming to Canberra for these centenary celebrations or otherwise. The Birthday Party of a Century has the ability to significantly increase the attendence at centenary events, now that people can easily find out what events are on when and where.

This unprecedented accessibility to Centenary events will be sure to make the Canberra Centenary celebrations so much more enjoyable for everyone.

Thanks, and remember that The Birthday Party of a Century is only a click away.

N.B. Having spoke to the dataACT mentors, the broken dates on the dataset have been fixed with 2 hours of GovHack remaining.


Team Name: 

Stack Underflow

Team Bio: 

Two 15 year old students from Canberra Grammar School


  • Remote Participant
  • Canberra

Team contributors