Wednesday, July 30, 2014

National Map

A few weeks ago Australian government launched new spatial data initiative called the National Map. It is a cooperative effort of NICTA and several federal government agencies, and another attempt to catalogue, present and make accessible to the public vast amounts of spatial data created and maintained by public sector organisations.

Hopefully, this initiative will be more successful and more permanent creation than previous versions so business, as well as Australian public, can take full advantage of the investment for many years to come.

The concept of a “single online map” - the National Map, is not unique and this is not what will make this project a success. After all, there is nothing exciting anymore about “viewing things on maps” - especially within walled gardens of proprietary applications (State governments Google Globes initiatives come to mind as an example).

Rather, the value of this and, hopefully soon, State and Territory government initiatives is in exposing the data via web services for others to utilise - without constraints and within a variety of custom made applications.

Full data interoperability is the ultimate prize for the nation. Yet, this concept is so elusive and hard to achieve despite over a decade of concerted efforts of many individuals and quite a significant investment by government authorities to make it happen. Let us hope that the National Map initiative is the new beginning...

Thematic Mapper is one of many applications on the market which can readily make use of all those new data services. It is well capable of not only displaying National Map data layers but also allowing to “mash” them with a variety of other open source as well as proprietary information.

Take for example this set of maps depicting Internet availability and quality of signal in Australia. It is created with free and readily accessible Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as well as information served by the Department of Communications:

You don’t have to be a GIS expert to make useful, informative and beautiful maps with Thematic Mapper. Contact team to arrange a demonstration with your own data.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Presenting spatial data with Thematic Mapper

Attractive, eye catching colours and interesting graphics help to draw attention of the audience to key information presented on a map. Data presentation capabilities of Thematic Mapper are best demonstrated on the following examples:

  • Base maps – Thematic Mapper comes with a wide selection of base map layers, open source as well as commercial, to suit various presentation objectives:

  • Overlays - users are able to mix and match various overlay layers for the best visual effect and/or to enhance clarity of presented information:

  • Custom data – registered users can create fully customised choropleth (thematic) maps with standard geometry layers (eg. postcodes) and own attribute data, or any of thousands of demographic statistics (ie. Census  data) readily available for use in Thematic Mapper:

  • Point data – Thematic Mapper allows creating complex markers comprising variety of background shapes, sizes and colours, symbols (glyphs) and images; markers are interactive and can be as complex or as simple as required to convey the message:

Contact Mapdeck Team for a demonstration of Thematic Mapper capabilities with your own data.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Property market analysis with Thematic Mapper

One distinctive advantage of presenting information on maps rather than in tables is the ability to visualise geographic distribution of phenomena under investigation. In other words, choropleth (thematic) maps are a perfect tool for highlighting differences or similarities between areas, or for presenting spatial patterns.

Thematic Mapper has recently been used in the analysis of changes in median prices over time for Local Government Areas in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region.

The map clearly shows spatial pattern that median prices of properties located closer to the city centre grew faster than those located further away and also that the growth rate was dependant on the distance to the city centre (that is, the further away the property was located, the slower the growth was). 

This simple visualisation technique allowed drawing a conclusion that properties located close to the city centre offer the best capital return in the long term. Ultimately, it allowed resolving decisively the dilemma of every prospective property purchaser as to “where to buy”.

Read full article on Property Observer website.