Monday, May 28, 2012

Modelling open data - new visualisation from recently released BOM data

The Bureau of Meteorology has released new data for reuse under Creative Commons licensing, ahead of the upcoming GovHack in Canberra next week, and Mark Hatcher has used it to model 153 years of Sydney weather in a short video (image to right).

The higher the temperatures, the warmer the colours.

This is a good example of how data can be reused by the public to provide different insights or perspectives into topics - providing evidence to inform different viewpoints.

These public mashups could then potentially be re-adopted (crowdsourced) and shared by governments, where they offer new insights, to better communicate with and engage the community or staff.

Of course there are technical smarts involved in this type of modelling, however tools such as ManyEyes, Visual.ly, Infogr.am and Piktochart make it easy for individuals with no technical training to create interesting views from raw data.

These tools can even be used by government agencies to model their own data - useful both for public engagement and internal engagement with staff or management. Though note it is important to only create infographics from publicly available data as the processing may be done in the cloud!

Mark's complete (41 second) video of his visualisation is below. If viewing it at work I suggest turning down the sound so as to not distract colleagues.





UPDATE:
I've received a clarification as to what data was new - and it's actually new functionality.  You can now download 'all years of data' in a single file, for daily rainfall, temp and solar exposure - hat tip to Jim Birch.

This improvement makes it much easier to produce mashups like Mark's above.

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