Hackleberry FINN
Team Name: 
Hackleberry Finn

MyWorld.  Scaled interactive and accessible 3D visualisation of your city.  Explore in virtual reality the people, services, environment and get to know your city displayed as a scaled virtual village

MyWorld combines multiple real-world datasets and applies complexed statistical data reduction to build a 3D miniature village.  Every element is interactive and allows access to a rich world of education and government resources. 

MyWorld draws on multi-disciplinary approaches to consolidate sociology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and 3D visualisation tools to provide the community with a simple, easy to use interactive experience.

1. Why did you choose to build it?

The amount of big-data we have access to today is so large that it is mind-boggling. Studies have shown that "mind-boggling" is a literal description of what happens when we encounter large numbers. It seems humans don't really know how to process figures which they can't personally relate to. 

In a society where as individuals we feel like we're just a cog in an ever growing homogenous machine MyWorld makes big-data accessible.  MyWorld uses complexed statistical modelling to transform big-data while maintaining the narrative and integrity giving users a personal experience rather than a set of large numbers.

2. What does it do?

MyWorld combines multiple real-world datasets and applies complexed statistical data reduction to build a 3D miniature village.  It reduces a city to one hundred people while maintaining the data integrity and the narrative of the original data.  Every element is interactive, explorable, and allows access to a rich world of education and government resources. 

3. Who is it for?

Education: MyWorld offers an interactive and engaging teachers resource that enables students to learn about their city.  Interconnected with MyHistory students are able to go from exploring their city today to stepping back in the past.

Local / State Government: MyWorld offers a novel way of displaying city data and profiles that brings information to life.  MyWorld offers a multicultural village which is based on real life populations.  Interacting with the individuals within this village lets you learn about the rich cultures living within your City.  The housing is based on dwellings in the ABS census that indicates house vs apartment dwellings, and educational facilities source current courses on offer from those within local educational institutions.  Residents are able to explore the resources of their local council at their town hall in an easy to navigate format.  MyWorld and MyFuture allow future development by utilising time series econometric models and multilevel statistical models to visual future cities as a valuable tool for policy makers.  This would also make a powerful exhibitto demonstrate a new and exciting way to explore city data and services.

Communities / Genealogists / Historians: MyWorld and MyHistory offer the ability to show historical data such as ancestry.  Live, interact and experience history in a 3D visualisation of times past.  Use virtual reality to time travel to the past and experience a world that once was.  Utilisation of this project could include displaying family history, or modelling a virtual indigenous nation.  By combining the indigenous data from sources such as the Audiovisual material from the National Film and Sound Archive with community consultation and engagement the aim would be to create an immersive 3D experience to provide education on indigenous culture.

4. What data and tech was used?

The functional proof of concept requires a PC running the latest version of Internet Explorer with the Unity plugin downloaded and installed.  If the plugin is not installed it should prompt you to install on the first view however may require a browser restart.

To utilise the android APK custom apps must be enabled in security settings.

Download Android App here

Technology used

  • Datasets processed using R
  • Virtual server hosted on Amazon Web Services(AWS) S3
  • Route53 MX Mail Server Redirects (technical support)
  • Web based delivery selected to enable mobile / pc / virtual reality support
  • Use of Leaflet for interactive start-up screen
  • Unity 3D Visualisation - Exporting to HTML5 (NPAPI plugins will soon be disabled worldwide)
  • Currently delivery to Android / PC & Mac / Google Cardboard (future development to include iDevice and inclusion to Play Store / iTunes)

5. Future Developments and Benefits

Due to the limited time within the GovHack data was processed using R on a local machine.  Expansion in future would use the R service on AWS to automate a city sourcing data from data sources dynamically allowing all cities within Australia to generate MyWorld virtual villages.  The 3D graphics within the proof of concept are only draft and extremely rough as the time limitations again restricted the ability to work on art work within the application.  The platform also was not fully tested on all browsers and is known to currently not work on Chrome as there are issues with NPAPI plugins currently being resolved between Google and Unity.  In future the platform would be portable to multiple devices utilising the flexibility of unity to run on Android, iDevice, PC/MAC and Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Headsets.  Because of the time limitations we were only able to produce a MyWorld example in Melbourne in the current day, however future expansion would see this including historical data and future predictions provided by the state government.


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  • Hill, R. A.; Dunbar, R. I. M. (2003). "Social network size in humans". Human Nature 14: 53. doi:10.1007/s12110-003-1016-y
  • Dunbar, Robin I. M. (2010). How many friends does one person need?: Dunbar's number and other evolutionary quirks. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-25342-3.
Datasets Used: 
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Regional, Social (Census), Economic, Labour, Industry Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) CSIRO Department of Aboriginal Affairs (ABS, Audiovisual material from the National Film and Sound Archive, AIHW) Department of Finance Melbourne Data Portal Data.Vic Course Data (,,

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