Melbourne, like any big city, has lots of open data associated with it - data relating to people, places, services, events and much, much more. These data can offer great insights into the behaviours and needs of Melburnians; in combination, they can be used to provide useful digital services. The problem is that these distributed datasets are not available on a single platform, which makes it difficult to access complete information and use it in a way that is meaningful to users.
The inspiration for CitySDK came from a European initiative - eight cities worked together to create a toolkit that would enable them to release open data in a coordinated way. At Sprout 8, one of our teams had the idea to build a Melbourne version. They mapped out in detail the architecture of the API and even dreamed up an service to illustrate how the data could be used - 'Pinstr', a new app that "helps hipsters find the best coffee wherever they are - before it's cool".