The Wiki team with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
The Wiki team with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
4 December 2014

Researchers at The University of Queensland have won two Queensland Premier Awards for Open Data for a web application that could assist residents in receiving real-time snapshots of damage inflicted by extreme weather events.

The Wiki Queensland big-data fusion system won the Best Use of Open Data award and Microsoft Startup Q Award at Tuesday night’s event.

The team of six researchers from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering were one of four teams to receive awards on the night.

Executive Dean of UQ’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Professor Simon Biggs congratulated the team on their success.

“As a society, our focus is already shifting to smartphones and the apps which they allow us to use,” Professor Biggs said.

“After the big storm Brisbane experienced last week, the need for an app such as this has never been greater.

“If this app is commercialised, I have no doubt that it will be widely used and accessed by those living in Queensland.”

Lead researcher Associate Professor Xue Li said it was a great honour to win such prestigious awards at a state level.

“The Wiki Queensland big-data fusion system can be considered as a one-stop information service for the people of Queensland,” Professor Li said.

“It can help residents and visitors of Queensland understand and make better informed decisions about important aspects of their daily lives such as health, education, and safety,” he said.

Premier Campbell Newman congratulated the UQ team for the innovation and maturity they showed in using data being released by government.

“Open data is about creating awareness about the open access the public has to Queensland Government data and helping people to understand that data can be valuable,” Mr Newman said.

“An application like Wiki Queensland could have enormous benefits for all Queenslanders in everyday situations but especially during natural disasters like the freak storm we had last week in Brisbane.

“It could help keep Queenslanders safer by allowing them to find out in real time where the major flooding and storm damage is, if there are fallen power lines in their area or where the worst traffic problems are.”

 The UQ team of Xue Li, Xiaofang Zhou, Sayan Unankard, Shazia Sadiq, Ling Chen and Weitong Chen won $5000 and the opportunity to work with the new Open Data Institute of Queensland to commercialise their product.

Media: Madelene Flanagan (, + 61 7 3365 8525), Xue Li (, 0402 796 685)