Australian government visualises geospatial data on National Map

The Australian government has launched a single platform containing a number of the data sets released by the government, including broadband availability and quality.

People will be able to access Australian mapping data from the one platform, with the government today launching the National Map Open Data Initiative.

Image: Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet

A collaborative effort between the Department of Communications, National ICT Australia (NICTA) and Geoscience Australia, the National Map project combines a visual map of Australia with the data sets released by the government under the open data policy, including Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Bureau of Meteorology data, and data sets from

Users can view data sets over the top of the map by selecting from a drop box on the side of the map.

The government has also included the data gathered from the Department of Communications' broadband quality and availability study , whcih was used in developing the MyBroadband website that will feed into NBN Co's revised rollout targeting areas that are said to have poor broadband availability today.

The National Map tool will be one part of the GovHack 2014 competition this week that will open up government datasets to developers to create apps and data visualisations.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that since the election there had been a "seven-fold" increase in datasets available on since the election, up to 3,500.

The New Zealand government has said its open data initiatives will change the way its measures goals and will change the budget process for the government.

It comes as a site dedicated to the National Broadband Network rollout has this week developed its own unofficial heatmaps for the potential speeds users in fibre-to-the-node trial sites will experience. Relying on publicly released information about the speeds available on VDSL technology over copper lines based on their distance from the node, MyNBN has estimated that the average download speeds for users across the eight locations will be between 36Mbps and 47Mbps.

The site determined the location of the nodes by trawling through Google Street View and determining where the existing Telstra pillars for the copper lines are located, and based NBN Co's potential nodes from those locations.

NBN Co has so far not released any indicative information on the types of speeds customers will receive on the fibre to the node network, except for one line test in Umina of 105Mbps down, and 45Mbps up on a copper line of 100 metres long.