Monday, January 10, 2011

More free data with Reference Map

I am releasing today another batch of free data for Australia, bundled with free Web Application Service from – for linking to, embedding into websites or reuse in third party applications. In addition to postal areas I released a few weeks ago I have added a number of other popular spatial boundary outlines, such as suburbs/localities and the latest Australian tourism regions (2010), local government areas (2010) and Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (2009). All in all, over 10,000 administrative regions individually mapped for your free perusal. Only a few months ago I was asked to pay $1,000's for that data to use as part of Postcode Finder application. It took a few hours to compile but now I have free data available for all my projects, and I don't mind sharing it with others in this specific format (ie. as Web Application Service).

In order to generate a map with a region of your choice just follow these simple steps:

1. Download list of available regions from the above table.
2. Look up naming convention for required region(s).
3. List all required regions in the URL, following this pattern (this example shows how to include one of each region, as listed in the above table)

kmzl= 2000,Sydney_NSW,Sydney__C_,Sydney,Sydney&


[service codes svs: 2-postcodes, 4-suburbs, 5-LGA, 6-CED, 7-ATR]
[Additional setup options are available, please see full instructions on free widgets page]

4. Copy URL to your browser/web page to display the map.

5. If you are interested in adding extra functionality to your site, see also this example of how to script access to the service and embed a map into a web page.

The data is a module of a bigger application I am slowly building over time. So far it includes a reference map, some popular administrative boundary data for Australia and a separate component that is closely linked - user sign up and PDF report download module. So much more is yet to come…

Related Posts:
Free postcodes with Reference Map
More examples of use of Reference Map service
Free Reference Map service

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Map pinpoints low cost regions for holiday travel

This is a complete text of media release for my latest report titled “Tourism in Australia - Insights for the Industry and Travellers”.

A report published by shows (literary!) where to find the cheapest holiday accommodation in each State and Territory.

The report is a good place to start particularly for budget conscious travellers, planning their holidays or tourism travel. The information could potentially bring substantial savings to holiday makers who are not fixed on specific locations.

For example, in Queensland, Fraser Coast north of Brisbane offers much better prices than adjoining Sunshine Coast (which is almost 50% more expensive) and the Gold Coast (approximately 35% more expensive).

In NSW, South Coast offers better prices than tourism regions north of Sydney (which tend to be 10-30% more expensive). In Victoria, Gippsland offers the best value for coastal regions and in South Australia, Yorke Peninsula north of Adelaide is cheaper that Fleurieu Peninsula (which is 35% more expensive).

The researchers examined average takings per night by accredited accommodation service providers in each tourism region around Australia and mapped out the results. The outcome is a colourful map matrix that highlights regions with both the cheapest and the most expensive accommodation. Since accommodation accounts for a significant proportion of overall travel expenses, the ranking presented in the report is indicative of the relative cost of holidaying in the particular location.

On a State and Territory basis, Tasmania has the cheapest accommodation while the Australian Capital Territory is comparatively the most expensive ($128 and $163 respectively).

The title of the cheapest region in Australia goes to Victoria's Wimmera tourism region, which has an average accommodation cost of just $83.82 per night. Close second is South Australia's Yorke Peninsula ($85.36), followed by Northern Territory's Barkly ($87.98), Victoria's Upper Yarra ($90.48) and Outback NSW ($93.14).

Not surprisingly capital cities and large metropolitan areas are amongst the most expensive travel destinations in terms of tourism accommodation. However, the title of the most expensive in Australia goes to the Great Barrier Reef tourism region, which has an average accommodation cost of $287.79 per night. The second most expensive is Kangaroo Island in South Australia ($205.52 per night). These are followed by another favourite Queensland location, the Whitsundays ($203.51), Victoria's Spa Country ($195.00) and Western Australia's North West Tourism Region ($186.48).

Since the report is based on June 2010 quarter data and as such visitors to the regions may find the real prices much higher at this time of the year. However, the relative rankings of tourism regions will hold true.

Links to a full free version of the report in PDF format are available at ...

Also featured on Google Maps Mania Blog