True Stories

True Stories - live art homepages for your Chrome browser
Team Name: 
Potato Heads

As a leading news organisation, the ABC has an extensive and rich archive of contemporary and local Australian stories. Unfortunately, this archive is not easily accessible or digestible by the ABC staff or general wider audience. Team ‘Potato Heads’ aims to change all of that. During the GovHack 2015, we have curated this archive and created an immersive visual experience. It’s real Australian stories as live art.

In the end, we hacked together a Google Chrome extension called True Stories.

By installing this plugin, True Stories replaces Chrome’s default (and plain) background with ABC’s compelling archived photos. We brought these hidden photos to life by aggregating 3 metadata/datasets. While these stories are usually forgotten after the daily news cycle, the idea is to highlight these hidden stories and continually keep them in the spotlight. One of advantages of highlighting these photos is driving traffic back to ABC news articles or blogs.


The users who would love to download and apply to their own browsers are:

  • ABC staff; a visual acknowledgement of all their hard work
  • lovers of fine photography
  • and curious Australians; because they want to know more about true Australian stories.

Social sharing of these photo wallpapers is being pushed out through the browser: Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Datasets Used: 
We combined data sets and metadata from: - Over 8,000 photos from the ABC Local Photo Stories data set; - 200,000 pieces of metadata from the ABC News web site; - Australian Bureau of Statistics National Regional Profiles; From a dataset from 8,500 photos from 2009 to 2014 was extracted and cleaned to give a final data set of 2,900 photos.

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