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“O Uommibatto”: How the Pre-Raphaelites Became Obsessed with the Wombat

- January 10, 2019 in Art & Illustrations, australia, Cheyne Walk, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Featured Articles, Jane Morris, poetry, Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti's wombat, Top the wombat, william morris, wombats

Angus Trumble on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and co's curious but longstanding fixation with the furry oddity that is the wombat — that "most beautiful of God's creatures" which found its way into their poems, their art, and even, for a brief while, their homes.

Images from William Saville-Kent’s The Great Barrier Reef of Australia (1893)

- September 20, 2018 in australia, fish, great barrier reef

Colour lithographs and photographs from the first book to extensively depict a coral reef using photography.

The Quirky, the Artful, and the Unexpected: Historic Photographs of Life in Australia

- December 15, 2015 in australia, Curator's Choice, Featured, Public Domain

CURATOR’S CHOICE #28: Dr Elycia J Wallis for Museum Victoria Dr Elycia J Wallis, Manager of Online Collections at Museum Victoria, presents a few fascinating glimpses of late-19th- and early-20th-century Australia, and the photographers who documented its inhabitants. Museum Victoria is a multidisciplinary museum in Melbourne Australia, holding collections of natural sciences including palaeontology and […]

The Quirky, the Artful, and the Unexpected – Historic Photographs of Life in Australia

- December 8, 2015 in a. j. campbell, australia, australian photography

MUSEUM VICTORIA - Dr Elycia J Wallis, Manager of Online Collections, explores a few fascinating glimpses of Australia in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the photographers who documented its inhabitants.

The Quirky, the Artful, and the Unexpected: Historic Photographs of Life in Australia

- December 8, 2015 in a. j. campbell, australia, australian photography

MUSEUM VICTORIA - Dr Elycia J Wallis, Manager of Online Collections, presents a few fascinating glimpses of late-19th- and early-20th-century Australia, and the photographers who documented its inhabitants.

Gallipoli: Through the Soldier’s Lens

- April 8, 2015 in anzac, australia, australian war memorial, Curator's Choice, first world war, gallipoli, new zealand, Public Domain, soldiers, war, world war one, ww1

CURATOR’S CHOICE #21: ALISON WISHART FROM AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL To mark the 100 years since Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) fought the Gallipoli campaign of WW1, Alison Wishart, Senior Curator of Photographs at Australian War Memorial, explores the remarkable photographic record left by the soldiers. Made possible by the birth of Kodak’s portable […]

Walkthrough: My experience building Australia’s Regional Open Data Census

- March 6, 2015 in australia, census, Featured Project, OKF Australia, Open Data Census, regional

Skærmbillede 2015-03-06 kl. 11.27.11 On International Open Data Day (21 Feb 2015) Australia’s Regional Open Data Census launched. This is the story of the trials and tribulations in launching the census.

Getting Started

Like many open data initiatives come to realise, after filling up a portal with lots of open data, there is a need for quality as well as quantity. I decided to tackle improving the quality of Australia’s open data as part of my Christmas holiday project. I decided to request a local open data census on 23 Dec (I’d finished my Christmas shopping a day early). While I was waiting for a reply, I read the documentation – it was well written and configuring a web site using Google Sheets seemed easy enough. The Open Knowledge Local Groups team contacted me early in the new year and introduced me to Pia Waugh and the team at Open Knowledge Australia. Pia helped propose the idea of the census to the leaders of Australia’s state and territory government open data initiatives. I was invited to pitch the census to them at a meeting on 19 Feb – Two days before International Open Data Day.

A plan was hatched

On 29 Jan I was informed by Open Knowledge that the census was ready to be configured. Could I be ready be launch in 25 days time? Configuring the census was easy. Fill in the blanks, a list of places, some words on the homepage, look at other census and re-use some FAQ, add a logo and some custom CSS. However, deciding on what data to assess brought me to a screaming halt.

Deciding on data

The Global census uses data based on the G8 key datasets definition. The Local census template datasets are focused on local government responsibilities. There was no guidance for countries with three levels of government. How could I get agreement on the datasets and launch in time for Open Data Day? I decided to make a Google Sheet with tabs for datasets required by the G8, Global Census, Local Census, Open Data Barometer, and Australia’s Foundation Spatial Data Framework. Based on these references I proposed 10 datasets to assess. An email was sent to the open data leaders asking them to collaborate on selecting the datasets.

GitHub is full of friends

When I encountered issues configuring the census, I turned to GitHub. Paul Walsh, one of the team on the OpenDataCensus repository on GitHub, was my guardian on GitHub – steering my issues to the right place, fixing Google Sheet security bugs, deleting a place I created called “Try it out” that I used for testing, and encouraging me to post user stories for new features. If you’re thinking about building your own census, get on GitHub and read what the team has planned and are busy fixing.

The meeting

I presented to the leaders of Australia’s state and territory open data leaders leaders on 19 Feb and they requested more time to add extra datasets to the census. We agreed to put a Beta label on the census and launch on Open Data Day.

Ready for lift off

The following day CIO Magazine emailed asking for, “a quick comment on International Open Data Day, how you see open data movement in Australia, and the importance of open data in helping the community”. I told them and they wrote about it. The Open Data Institute Queensland and Open Knowledge blogged and tweeted encouraging volunteers to add to the census on Open Data Day. I set up Gmail and Twitter accounts for the census and requested the census to be added to the big list of censuses.

Open Data Day

No support requests were received from volunteers submitting entries to the census (it is pretty easy). The Open Data Day projects included:
  • drafting a Contributor Guide.
  • creating a Google Sheet to allow people to collect census entries prior to entering them online.
  • Adding Google Analytics to the site.

What next?

We are looking forward to a few improvements including adding the map visualisation from the Global Open Data Index to our regional census. That’s why our Twitter account is @AuOpenDataIndex. If you’re thinking about creating your own Open Data Census then I can highly recommend the experience and there is great team ready to support you. Get in touch if you’d like to help with Australia’s Open Data Census. Stephen Gates lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He has written Open Data strategies and driven their implementation. He is actively involved with the Open Data Institute Queensland contributing to their response to Queensland’s proposed open data law and helping coordinate the localisation of ODI Open Data Certificates. Stephen is also helping organise GovHack 2015 in Brisbane. Australia’s Regional Open Data Census is his first project working with Open Knowledge.

Open Community Drinks – Melbourne, March 13!

- February 13, 2014 in australia, event, Featured, News, okfnau

Did you come to our drinks night at 1000 Pound Bend in January? If you missed it, here’s your chance! The first drinks night was such a success we’re doing it again. Come along to the ThoughtWorks office (23/303 Collins Street) on the 13th of March at 6pm to chat with people about the awesome Open things you’re doing. See you there! Edit: finally, a Meetup event!

Data Roundup, 3 December

- December 3, 2013 in aids, australia, bushfire, charts, climate change, course, Data, Data Roundup, gender, inequality, infographics, javascript, Mapping, november, online, Roundup, top 5, Tutorial, tweets, World Bank

A course on online mapping, new visualization software, corruption perceptions data, bushfires in Australia through interactive maps, climate change effects infographics, the top 5 tweets of November in data visualization, a gift list for data lovers.

United Nations Photo – Climate Change Effects in Island Nation of Kiribati

Tools, Events, Courses If you are a wannabe mapper and you need to acquire skills to manage your digital exploration tools you might be interested in registering at the “Online mapping for beginner” course of CartoDB starting on December the 3rd. Hurry up: only few places left! Daniel Smilkov, Deepak Jagdish and César Hidalgo are three MIT students that developed a visualization tool called Immersion. Immersion helps you visualizing your network of e-mail contacts using only “From”, “To”, “Cc” without taking into account any kind of content. JavaScript is one of the most common programming language frequently used to create beautiful visualizations. Follow this tutorial from dry.ly if you want to learn it bypassing D3.js. Practice makes perfect! Data Stories Yesterday, Transparency International launched it’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranking countries according to perceived levels of corruption. Have a look at the results and see how your country ranks. Everyone knows what a bar chart is but have you ever heard about trilinear plots? This post from Alberto Cairo introduces a short consideration on new forms of data representations and on when to break conventions in information design. The goal of the Digital Methods Initiative of the Amsterdam University is to map and analyze causes, effects and possible future scenarios deriving from climate change. As part of this project, the students from Density Design Research Lab wrote a wonderful post outlining their visual design take on climate change. Gender inequality is one of those big issues which varies enormously from country to country. If you are wondering what countries have the worst gender gap a look at the map published on the Slate Magazine by Jamie Zimmerman, Nicole Tosh, and Nick McClellan. There are a lot of visualizations you can make from data coming from social networks, especially from those coming from the biggest one: Facebook. Take a minute to see those posted in this curious article from Armin Grossenbacher: “Visualising (not so) Big Data”. In Australia bushfires occur frequently. Look at the amazing interactive story that The Guardian published on their history, showing maps with data on temperatures, hectares of land burnt and number of properties damaged. Not everyone knows that we just passed the World Aids Day on the first of December. Tariq Khokhar reminds us the global situation of the disease in this article from the World Bank Data Blog. Data Sources Datavisualization.fr extracted the list of the 5 most influential tweets of November containing the hashtag #dataviz from a database of about 10.100 posts. Read it here and see who did best. Christimas is getting closer. If you need some good suggestions on what to buy to your friends and parents take a moment to read the FlowingData Gift Guide and you’ll find some interesting data-gifts for your data-lovers. flattr this!