GovHackNZ - Let's Get Local (pt 1)

Whilst there is much activity around central Govt data, people and venue (thanks MBIE for hosting the 3rd/4th/5th July Wellington event - sign-up folks!) we must remember that local government brings an awful lot to the GovHackNZ table, some would even argue it is more valuable and relevant data, but we couldn't possibly comment upon that.

Here in Wellington we are extremely lucky to be supported by the Wellington City Council (WCC) Innovation Team, in particular Sean Audin a long time attendee of Hack Miramar. Sean has started to post up data sources they will be making available - here is a cross-post of his first:

People and Demographics

For Council to carry out its work providing and supporting our city it needs to understand the city’s population and how it is changing. Much of the Data we use to do this is open and available to the public through the ID platform – http://forecast.idnz.co.nz/wellington/home

The ID platform is divided into 3 parts: Profile ID, Atlas ID and Forecast ID

Profile ID

The place to go for population, employment, and household dwelling information. Most of the information is sourced from Statistics NZ and is provided with a more user friendly online interface. The tables which can be built at either the mesh block, area unit, suburb or city level can be exported either as .xls or into word formats.


Advantages:

  • It is simpler to work than other statistics websites and is Wellington Specific
  • It puts the statistics into context
  • Links to forecasts and mapping engines means you have a choice of interfaces
  • Formatted tables

Limitations:

  • The table formats are limited.
  • The datasets are not as versatile as those at stats.govt.nz
  • The information isn’t available as API through ID.

Who this would suit:

  • Students doing school projects
  • Businesses looking for basic customer demographics
  • Professionals who need quick statistics or with a specific question.

Atlas ID

Atlas ID is a basic geographic interface for accessing social statistics. Atlas ID lets you see trends across the city. Tables can be created by clicking on the map and the information exported as .csv or as an image.

Advantages:

  • It is a simple mapping interface for accessing information and seeing trends/patterns across the city.
  • It puts the statistics into context
  • It produces clean .csv tables which can be linked to other systems.

Disadvantages:

  • The table formats are limited.
  • The datasets are not as versatile as those at stats.govt.nz
  • The information isn’t available as API through ID.

Who this would suit:

  • Students doing school projects
  • Businesses looking for basic customer demographics
  • Professionals who need quick statistics or with a specific question.
  • People who do not have access to mapping engines.

Forecast ID

Forecast ID is where council forecasts of our population out to 2043 can be accessed. Population and household projections can be accessed at a citywide and suburban level and exported as excel or word formats. The site also has a large amount of information of the forecast methodology, trends and drivers.

ForecastID.jpg

 

Advantages:

  • It is simple to work and is an authoritative source for forecast data
  • Links to tables and mapping engines means you have a choice of interfaces
  • Formatted tables

Limitations:

  • The table formats are limited.
  • The datasets are limited to the suburban level
  • The information isn’t available as API through ID.

Who this would suit:

  • Students doing school projects
  • Businesses looking for changing customer demographics
  • Professionals who need projections for longer term projections.

This is the first in a series of posts on what Wellington City Council's open data as part of Council's support for GovHack. Hopefully they will help the GOV Hackers see what is available and where to find it. We will be covering a range of topics and data types, from stand alone sites to API and GIS online data portals. Happy Hacking

Sean Audain
Innovation Officer, Wellington City Council