November 2, 2011

Climate Change mashup in California

Posted by josediacono @ 10:32 am under Uncategorized

A  GIS team has brought together all sorts of historical and predicted climate data for planners to use.

June 17, 2011

New data-portal and georabble

Posted by josediacono @ 10:32 am under Uncategorized

The City of Baltimore has made  a really usable and welcoming portal for open government data – especially if you are interested in parking fines, violations and repeat offenders.


We had a talk at Georabble last night about these from Lach McCabe : Using geo to reveal the story at the Sydney Morning Herald. He is using something called Google refine to cleanse his data. I’d not come across this before and its worth a look.

Standout presentation for me was Jacqui Kennedy : In Their Honour – Mapping our Anzacs – showing where all our servicemen and women are buried and linking to their records. This was because she told us the story behind this competition winning mashup – how her four uncles headed off to fight for king and country in the first world war and how the debacle at Anzac Cove was due to woeful maps which didn’t even have contours to show the steep slopes and ravines. When I was 15 I went on an exchange to Corbie in France and we visited the VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL cemetery. It was a very moving experience even for a self absorbed teenager.

June 9, 2011

Waze and Foursquare

Posted by josediacono @ 7:06 pm under Uncategorized

Are they games, community services, social media or all three? I’d heard of Waze and Foursquare from my social media guru friend Yvonne Thompson but havn’t used them. While browsing on the where 2.0 conference website I found two great videos how to motivate the crowd to source navigation and traffic data interview with foursquare founder

They are a real eye opener on the creativity and drive of these incredibly young looking location aware entrepreneurs.

More interesting chat about where 2.o on Maurice Van der Vlugt’s blog

March 7, 2011

apps4nsw hackfest

Posted by josediacono @ 9:56 pm under Uncategorized

From 8am on Saturday 19th February, 160 website designers, developers and government people got together at the Powerhouse Museum for an apps4nsw development day. Their challenge was to build an app in about 8 hours, using data from the NSW Government.

Find out what happened next… apps4nsw hackfest 2011

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January 31, 2011

Real Time Tube map working again

Posted by josediacono @ 12:07 pm under Uncategorized

Live London tube mapMy first blog posting for almost 2 months! The main reason was a long, cold but very enjoyable trip to the UK. Very impressed with how our Nokia phone navigated us round the country, and especially through central London where it knew all the one way streets and showed us accurately even which lane to be in – though I wonder how many accidents happen as drivers try to drive while looking at the tiny blue arrows on their screen. My job of co-pilot is still safe as satnav reader.

I’m pleased to see one of my favourite mashups the real time London Tube Map is up and running again. It has an chequered history when the real time feed was totally overloaded. More

November 26, 2010

Spatial speed networking with free beer

Posted by josediacono @ 10:40 am under Uncategorized

I went to a spatial speed networking evening last night in Sydney (my daughter reckons it was speed dating but the ratio of males to females wouldn’t have worked too well!). It was very enjoyable. About 30 people in a private bar area in the CBD 6-8pm, we sat 3-4 at a table for 7 minutes and introduced ourselves and chatted, then a bell rang and we all swapped. After about 5 swaps we just mingled and ate finger food. Met interesting people from surveying (it was co-hosted by BOSSI the Board of Surveying and Spatial information and SSSI but you didn’t have to be affiliated to any association to attend), utilities, students, consulting engineers, developers, people looking for jobs and Wendy Chapman (former publisher of Position) who is back in town after a long holiday. It was a chance to ask people how they use (or don’t use) social media for my upcoming article in Position magazine.

It was free and a nice opportunity to see all christmas lights in Martin Place. I hope we will have more. Thanks to Heidi Brown for organising it.

October 21, 2010

the perils of geolocation with social media

Posted by josediacono @ 8:40 am under Uncategorized

Radio National’s Futuretense show this morning. podcast How social networking like foursquare and twitter is using geolocation – the upside means you can find out if friends and colleagues are close by to catch up with them or find out what interesting places are close by if you have a few minutes to kill, but the downside is that if you enable geolocating and forget about it, you can be revealing your location inadvertently to the world. Interesting take on terminology, ‘geolocating’ sounds ok, but ‘geotracking’ sounds sinister.  Interviews with social media experts and a lawyer (who is actually very enthusiastic about sharing his location.

Website in Holland ‘’ Raising awareness about oversharing. Shows how the devious could stalk you or identify when your house is empty to rob me. The gist of the program is “it has huge benefits, but use it wisely”.

October 15, 2010

spatial@gov news

Posted by josediacono @ 9:17 pm under Uncategorized

Wow, Maurits and my presentations have been viewed 84 times each now. That is pretty good going.  No comment yet though. All the presentations have been uploaded to a private page on slideshare for the eyes of conference delegates only. This is a bit frustrating since speakers were urged to publish their presentations under creative commons (most did).  But because some speakers didn’t want to, now none of the them are being shared freely. I would urge speakers who want to share their presentations more widely to upload them to slideshare themselves and put spatial@gov in the title so they are easy to find.

Welcome news. OSDM are looking into a blog for spatial@gov.

October 1, 2010

New in November

Posted by josediacono @ 3:43 pm under Uncategorized

I asked Peter Alexander, Assistant Secretary at AGIMO (Australian Government Information Management Office)  about the future of the data portal used to supply data the MashupAustralia competition. This portal also has the url

I’m speaking on data portals and lessons learned from around the world on Wednesday afternoon  in the government 2.0 spatial@gov conference.

The  beta portal will be replaced by a  production version next month,  hosted in the cloud. First priority is discoverability because it doesn’t matter how good it is if you cannot find it.

Second priority is format.   The philosophy is to go with whatever is possible (it may be a table in a pdf initially), then improve on it  e.g. with web services.  AGIMO will be working very hard with agencies to get their data published.  Agencies are a lot more comfortable about sharing now they know the sky did not fall with Mashup Australia, on the contrary they saw  the benefits.

Agencies will self publish. There will be 5-10 attributes for every dataset, then links through to specialist portals for statistical or geospatial data (eg. Geoscience Australia). These will have more and different metadata.

We agreed on the  importance of resourcing the admin, blog etc. But there will be a ‘lag response policy’. If you jump in straight away with an answer it can kill the conversation. Better to encourage comments on comments and let conversation blossom.  That’s an interesting take.

Peter has had some discussions with ANZLIC and states. The same technology platform can be used by states.

September 21, 2010

Survey – economic value of open data

Posted by josediacono @ 2:59 pm under Uncategorized

If you want to promote open data in general, or get access to other people’s data, please take a few minutes to complete one of these surveys by 1st October. It is part of a government study project by Helen Moreland of the Victorian Dept of Transport  and
Respondents can receive a summary of the survey results.

“Economic value of open access to government-held data and information”

We are particularly interested in hearing stories about your experiences with open access to government data and/or information (be they positive, negative or neutral).

Short survey 5 minutes

Longer survey which will take about 20 minutes

The survey should take approximately 20 minutes, depending on how much detail you go into and is divided into the following sections:

1 Introduction
2 Access to data
3 Cost recovery
4 Characteristics of data
5 Benefits of access to data
6 Barriers to sharing data
7 Health questions (for those working in the health industry only)
8 Mining industry questions (for those working in the mining industry only)
9 Conclusion

[Please note the survey deadline is Friday 1st October(deadline has been extended) and that any information in addition to the survey can be sent to]

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