About the company
Mogeo, an app development company based in Christchurch, creates mobile application solutions to business delivery problems clients have identified.
Their focus on smartphone solutions has been enabled by technology (GPS sensor/offline mapping) and the fact that 54% of adult New Zealanders now have a smartphone (IAB NZ research, Aug 2013). This means that Mogeo can solve problems using a viable channel/solution that was not possible three or four years ago.
Mogeo prefers to work closely with just a few clients in order to understand the client’s environment. They initially start to identify their clients’ problems and then collaboratively craft the solution. Generally, if the client pays for the development, they then own the app.
Role of government open data in growing the business
Mogeo observes that there has definitely been a “warming of attitude from government over the last few years toward making data available publicly”, but also notes that, “while there's an open attitude at a higher level, this doesn't necessarily equate to the data being easy to access at the coal face”.
They note that there is a reasonable amount of work involved in opening up a data source publicly and that this requires more commitment than just being open to the idea. Through raising awareness of the results, they believe we will continue to see growth in this area.
Challenges of using open data
Mogeo feels that the biggest challenge is the quality of some the data that is currently available, particularly when it is managed by multiple entities. For example, many local authorities manage data in different ways, which creates variation in the datasets used for a single app: 53 local authorities for CamperMate and 16 regional councils for MarineMate.
Reviewing each dataset requires individual attention, and logistically this can become a challenge, particularly around updating this data when there is a change.
What other open data would be useful?
“Location, location, location” says Mogeo. Any data that is going to help users make a decision using their smartphone and based on their location is the most useful. This geospatial focus is reflected in three of the applications described on the following page.
Mogeo recognises that there are opportunities in the health sector for data mashup. However, as these are more web-based solutions, they are not Mogeo’s focus at present.
Analytics collected via the app provide insights on regions of use which inform future development. A category function has been built within CamperMate app to ‘learn’ what the user is searching for. These categories then move up or down the menu in order to customise the experience for the user.
Two prototypes apps have been developed for the Ministry for Primary Industries:
- Agricultural Chemical and Veterinary Medicine
- Pest Identification
Apps built on government’s public data
- Led by Waikato Regional Council, with funding from Maritime NZ, ACC, Land Information NZ and regional council harbourmasters, with support from Water Safety New Zealand.
- The free app provides water users across New Zealand easy access to all the information they need from a single and authoritative source to keep safe when heading out on the water.
- First time users complete five questions to provide data on the type of activities for future enhancements.
NZ Fishing Rules
- Led by the Ministry for Primary Industries to provide fishing information to assist recreational fishers in complying with regulations out on the water.
- The free app includes information to identify fish species, advise minimum legal size and area bag limits.
- Fishers can access a video on how to release undersize fish correctly and how to measure and determine the sex of crayfish.
Product Recalls NZ
A Mogeo initiative using the Ministry for Primary Industries’ food products recalls data and data from https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/recalls-archive website.
The free app allows the user to see what food products have been recalled.
- Developed by Mogeo to provide useful information to international and domestic tourists travelling around New Zealand.
- A case study on this free app is available at http://ict.govt.nz/programmes/open-and-transparent-government/open-data-case-studies/.
Economic and social impacts
- CamperMate, an app initiated by Mogeo and available for no charge, provided a value-add service that responded to a need.
- Access to open data has enabled Mogeo to extend its services and showcase the potential of open data for economic growth.
- Companies such as Mogeo enable central and local government agencies to get public data out to their target audiences in useful formats and focus on their core business.
- CamperMate data supports environmental and sustainability objectives.
Transparency and efficiency outcomes
- Providing regulations via a mobile app rather than in hard copy or just on a website increases access to the regulations that apply to recreational fishers, and also offers updates in a very efficient real-time way.
Re-use of this case study is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.