Heaps Good!

Project Info

Team Name

Ping Pong

Team Members

Angus , Jesse Bugden

Project Description


Problem Statement

"What makes a great holiday?" is personal. Everyone has their own blend of unwinding and exploring. In South Australia, we understand that not everyone wants the same experience. Maybe the standard tourist packages don't work for you and you want to mix and match your own holiday. We also understand that not everyone has time to study travel guides and reviews -- a holiday is supposed to be a break from getting organised and not make more work for you.

South Australia has an enormous variety of holiday activities for you to enjoy. So many, in fact, that we think many people will be overwhelmed with choice.

Our Proposal

Introducing "Heaps Good". Heaps Good is a machine learning assistant that you can talk to to describe the sort of holiday activities that you want. Currently in proof-of-concept form, Heaps Good has a small database of travel activities, locations, and tourism providers that it uses to make recommendations based on what you request. It uses the latest technology in Natural Language Processing, vector databases, and similarity searching to tailor its recommendations to your requirements.


Heaps Good analyses free text typed by the user. It uses large language models to create a response, and semantic embedding coupled with vector databases to ensure that the presented content is grounded to reality (LLMs have a habit of hallucinating imaginary answers). There are several benefits of our approach compared to current product offerings

benefit 1

Reuslts are customised to the user, and reflect inferred interests that the user might have.

benefit 2

Tourist research has become difficult because of the commercial capture of information sources. This has lead to tourists having a sub-optimal experience, as well as a tendency to funnel tourists into a few large, well-known, activies.
Tourism SA, because of its non-commercial nature, has an opportunity to build a portal that is designed with the tourist and the delivery of an excellent holiday as the principal design considerations. Such a portal is currently lacking because commercial systems tend to prioritise paying for product placement above the tourist experience.

benefit 3

Our portal will, over time, create a dataset of its own from which it can learn and thus improve performance

Commercial vision

We believe that Heaps Good can become the main way of planning holidays in South Australia, and a significant commercial advantage for the state. By keeping the portal itself non-commercial, it can focus on delivering the best outcome for tourists, leading to better experience, repeat custom, and word-of-mouth effects.

Envisioned Improvements

This is currently a proof-of-concept product only.

There are many possibilities to extend this platform to improve usability. Some ideas are that it more-effectively considers:
- transport between activities, inlcuding mapping
- client classification to make inferences about wants (for example, clients who play golf might also like drinking wine, whereas clients who enjoy go-kart racing might prefer beer). There are thousands of similar inferences that can be made by analysing the communication received from the client - the words they use, the manner of expression, the sound of their voice, their travel companions, etc
- finding "Hidden Gems" (for those who want them), such as the rock pool at Innes National Park, Stokes Bay, or Skillogalee Winery
- engage in discourse rather than a single request. The client will be able to say "I want more of that" or "I won't want to do that because", "I want something more cultural", "I want somehting random", and the system will adapt its proposal accordingly
- making a learning system that understands the sorts of recommendations that different people respond well to
We have the knowledge and skill to implement all of the above, but have not done so due to time constraints.
- improving the database of available destinations

Featured datasets

last slide

Heaps Good has been made by the Adelaide consultancy, Apex Arcana. We specialise in data science and helping people to make the most of their data. Please talk to use about how we can help you.

#generativeai #apexarcana #vector #faiss #openai #bert

Data Story

data from the google places API, and simulated data which could be provided from the ATDW (which is not currently open), is indexed in a vector index. User provided holiday descriptions are converted into a story by Open AI then key activities and places are matched with the vector data to retain the compelling story telling but bring it back to real data that can be relied upon (and curated if need be).

Evidence of Work



Team DataSets

Google Maps places API

Description of Use Example of places and content that can be used to associate them

Data Set

ACT Memory

Description of Use Could apply similar techinues to either use this content in a similar way or use similar techniques to add better discoverability and accessibility that is less reliant on keywords and more able to use semantic and even image based features.

Data Set


Description of Use Could be used in our tourism context but the vector + openAI (could also extend to Retrieval Augmented Generation) could be used to remix or assist with tagging via similarity.

Data Set

SA tourism trip planner

Description of Use End point for places data

Data Set

Challenge Entries

Highlight the diversity of South Australia's tourism product through gamification

How can we apply gamification to engage and educate young (South) Australians about South Australia's diverse tourism product offer and through this, influence key decision makers in their household to discover more of South Australia?

Go to Challenge | 14 teams have entered this challenge.

Increase visitor expenditure through Smart Tourism

How can we use digital technology to "upsell" to visitors to South Australia by uncovering additional attractions and experiences and/or extending their stay?

Go to Challenge | 16 teams have entered this challenge.

Generative AI: Unleashing the Power of Open Data

Explore the potential of Generative AI in conjunction with Open Data to empower communities and foster positive social impact. This challenge invites participants to leverage Generative AI models to analyse and derive insights from Open Data sourced from government datasets. By combining the power of Generative AI with the wealth of Open Data available, participants can create innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and benefit communities.

Go to Challenge | 29 teams have entered this challenge.

Making public archives more accessible

Online catalogues, like ACT Memory, provide information about government records and, where possible, provide copies of the records themselves. These records are generally in PDF or JPEG format. This makes the documents difficult to search for, access, and use. How might governments with record catalogues, like ACT Memory, solve this problem and make these rich sources of information more useful?

Go to Challenge | 7 teams have entered this challenge.

Remix the Archives using the PROV API

How might you use the PROV API to create a service that allows users to remix the archives for artistic endeavour?

Go to Challenge | 8 teams have entered this challenge.