Monday, December 19, 2011

End of year clearance

One of well hidden gems on is a Thematic Reports Series page which contains a number of free PDF publications for download. Thematic Reports downloads page was developed as an experiment to test user sign-up and file download functionality. It might as well be put to some good use now allowing controlled access to a collection of PDF maps and data files from So, I have just added to the list several PDF maps of postal areas covering capital cities of Australia. These maps show Census 2006 version of boundaries – still relevant for use with official ABS statistics, until the latest Census data is released (sometime in July 2012).

[Persons speaking Vietnamese at home, as proportion of all persons. Source: ABS]

Map of landfill and recycle sites

Geoscience Australia has just released a new dataset mapping locations of waste transfer stations, landfill sites and recycling facilities across Australia. The database identifies 1,700 locations and provides links to the Australian Waste Industries biannual landfill surveys, which allows users to access detailed, site specific information for a range of policy issues as well as environmental and research work. Information is distributed under Creative Commons licence in PDF, KML and Access Database format.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

VicRoads traffic alerts map

Last week VicRoads announced the launch of Road Closures and Traffic Alerts application. Media release issued by the Victorian Minister for Roads, The Hon Terry Mulder MP, provided background information on the project. In particular, Road Closures and Traffic Alerts is a $924,000 initiative to provide real-time information about detours and traffic incidents, such as crashes and breakdowns, as well as road conditions during emergencies. VicRoads will update information as it receives it from its own staff and agencies such as Victoria Police, Country Fire Authority or local government.

The map-based application is accessible online and can be viewed on web-enabled mobile phones. Alerts will also be published via Twitter (but unfortunately there was no mention of RSS version).

Built with Google Map API, the application offers very familiar user interface and very simple, clean design. The list of published incidents is optimised to show only minimum detail (ie. street name, location and type of the incident) and full information is only displayed in pop-up windows on the map. Sections of closed roads, as well as available detours, are marked on the map with blue lines (visible on closer zoom), adding to clarity of presented information. The only limitation is that data is not refreshed automatically and requires manual reload to show the latest incidents.

“The website will be invaluable to road users, media and other emergency service organisations as it provides a real-time picture of incidents occurring on the roads,” Mr Mulder said. “This will help people plan their journeys in advance and help them avoid major road hazards.”

Related Post:
NSW traffic conditions map