Monday, April 13, 2015

Test run: mapping 350,000 vector polygons

We are currently testing our new spatial data server. The challenge was to display around 350,000 Mesh Block polygons - in real time, in a standard browser without WebGL support. Why? Not just because... The future of online GIS is in real time rendering of spatial information - according to individual user requirements and attribute information that may be changing every second, on desktop as well as in mobile devices. This milestone takes us closer to having technology with such capabilities.

Briefly about Mesh Blocks - they are the smallest geographic region in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), and the smallest geographical unit for which Census data are available.

They broadly identify land use such as residential, commercial, educational, agricultural and parks, and contain counts of the total usual resident population and total dwelling count from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

This is the largest polygon file for Australia we could get our hands on so far (the data is distributed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in several files – one for each State or Territory, but we combined them into a single file). The next test is to handle and display all cadastre boundaries…