ANZhACks

Team Name: 
Hackasaurus Wrecks

ANZhACks: Historical Empathy via Social Networking
As Australia commemorates the Centenary of Anzac, it is more important than ever that we can understand the contributions and sacrifices of the Australian Imperial Force. There is a wealth of online and digitised resources about Anzac experiences during World War 1, ranging from unit histories, imagery, portraits, and service records. However, when this data is often dispersed among many websites, and not always explained in relation to wartime events, it can be difficult for us to fully appreciate this information.

Through ANZhACks, we bring personal meaning to these resources. ANZhACks uses three mechanisms to draw users into the Anzac story.

1) "Enlist Now"
First, users are asked if they would like to enlist to the AIF. If they agree, they can complete a blank Attestation Form, just as though they were signing up during World War 1. Their responses are based partly on Facebook-generated personal data (such as name and location) as well as their input into a questionnaire. Once completed, ANZhACks provides the user with a completed first page of their Attestation Form, is posted to a unit, and is linked to information about their unit's wartime experience.

2) "Fancy Not Wantin' to Go!"
If the user declines to enlist, they are presented with a variety of wartime statistics to explain what could have happened to their friends, colleagues and family members had they enlisted. This mechanism draws on the user's Facebook friends list in order to illustrate just what it could have been like to see people they know deploy during wartime.

3) "Were YOU there then?"
Last, the user's information, such as their name and location, is matched to soldier service records to help people personally identify with wartime experiences.

We hope that ANZhACks can help Australians to personally reflect on the service of men and women during World War 1, and in doing so, honour in the Australian Imperial Force's contributions. At the same time, we hope that ANZhACks will help the valuable range of digitised records to become more accessible for future generations.

Software

ANZhACks uses Javascript in combination with the following:

  • jQuery for productivity
  • Bootstrap for responsive styling
  • Facebook API to personalise GovHack data
  • Github as a data respotitory¬†
  • Adobe CS2 for logo development and Attestation Paper blankination
  • Google fonts for creating Attestation Papers
  • Slack for idea generation and organising coffees
  • Excel and Google Drive for managing and checking data

Future Aims
With time and resources, we hope to integrate soldier portraits into ANZhACks, in order to bring further personal meaning to users.

Datasets Used: 
ANZhACks draws on data from: The Australian War Memorial API: https://www.awm.gov.au/direct/api/ The National Archives of Australia API: https://api.naa.gov.au/ The State Library of South Australia's World War 1 poster collection: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/using/search/WW1posters.xml The Australian War Memorial's First World War Enlistment Statistics: https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/enlistment/ww1/ Data* made available on the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website: http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww1/anecdotes/stats01.html#percentage *The War Office, Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914-1920, (London 1922); AWM133 Nominal Roll of the AIF abroad; AWM144 Roll of Honour Cards, First World War; The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 Vol XI.

Local Event Location: