Communications & Media

The iAwards are almost all about us

University of Tasmania projects have dominated the Australian Information Industry Association’s 2018 Tasmanian iAwards.

The big winner on Friday, June 1, was Tourism Tracer, a joint venture between the University and Ionata Digital that helps track tourism behaviour via a smartphone app.

Tourism Tracer won three awards - Research and Development Project of the Year, Consumer Markets, and Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year – and was a merit recipient in a fourth category, Business Service Markets.

Seamap Australia, an Australian seabed habitat classification scheme and spatial database developed by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in association with Condense, won two awards: Big Data Innovation of the Year and the Public Sector and Government category.

For more information on the Seamap Australia awards go to: http://www.imas.utas.edu.au/news/news-items/seamap-australia-recognised-in-states-iawards-ceremony)

The University also took out the Undergraduate Tertiary Students category for Spider House, an arachnophobia treatment game.

Senior lecturer at the university’s School of Business and Economics Anne Hardy told the Mercury that the three awards for Tourism Tracer were a great honour.

“Over time we’ve both learned a lot about the benefits of partnership, and we’ve become leaner and we’ve explored opportunities to bring the costs down significantly for potential customers in the future,” she said.

“It’s an unlikely partnership, but it has worked. Because Ionata is a small firm, we have developed a really strong relationship within this team.”

Dr Hardy said the project was hitting its straps at a critical time for tourism.

“I think it’s really crucial. Tasmania is right on the cusp of change. We’re starting to see questions in the community about whether we’ve reached peak tourism,” she said.

“What Tracer can do is show how people move. The next stage of this is sending messages to tourists saying ‘Freycinet is full, consider going to Friendly Beaches first’.

“My dream for Tracer is that it transforms the way we collect and the way we visualise data. I think the days of paper-based surveys and collection are going. They are no longer always useful.”

State finalists go on to compete in the national AIIA 2018 iAwards in Melbourne on August 30.

Pictured: from left, Dr Anne Hardy, Tourism Tracer project manager Sarah Hyslop and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change, Professor Richard Eccleston.

Published on: 12 Jun 2018 10:15am