On Friday Canberra welcomed an influx of web geeks, inviting them to mash up government-supplied data in interesting and useful ways. I'm not sure anyone really knew what to expect, least of all the hosts!

The fact GovHack happened at all is a good sign, as is the existence of a Government 2.0 Taskforce (forgive them the buzzword).

It's hard to think of any organisation that's a) sitting on more data than the government, or b) less likely to stay up all night creating cool mashups with that data. So it's a smart move to bring in a group of developers who are willing to spend 24 hours getting a mashup to proof-of-concept stage.

Although I didn't attend, it was amusing follow the tweets of the increasingly sleep-deprived geeks who did go to the all-night hackfest... but it was even more interesting to see what they produced.

There's a press release about the event here: Media Release 74/2009 - Govhack Finds New Uses for Public Sector Information... however I think the best measure of the event is to have a look at the mashups chosen as standouts.

If you think these are cool and would like to get involved, there are more events coming up this weekend in Sydney and Melbourne. Hit the GovHack website for details.