New Zealand: MapData Sciences (MDS) has updated the boundary maps service for Statistics New Zealand (NZ), providing a more interactive experience for a site visitor wishing to review 2006 census information. Improving the user access to official statistics is very important to Statistics New Zealand and has evolved with changes in technology since 2001.
Before 2001, users of statistics needed to buy hard copy maps, buy a mapping package containing boundaries, or purchase statistical boundaries in digital form for loading into mapping software. In 2001, Statistics New Zealand wanted to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the web to provide free access to users to visualise the geographical areas used to report statistical data.
The site now enables the visitor to search by street, suburb/location or region, zoom in and out and to be presented with a pop up window showing some statistics about the area. The site provides a more interactive experience for the site visitor with quick facts such as the number of people, median age, median income and number of households. A link then provides access to more detailed information.
Statistics New Zealand approached a number of organisations to build a web-based mapping application that could be made available to the public. “MDS was able to provide the most suitable solution at the time and have hosted an application since. The application has recently been upgraded and loaded with new boundaries, and links have been updated to new information. MDS have been very professional to deal with and we have been able to jointly enhance and simplify the system” says Peter O’Neale, Manager Marketing – Statistics New Zealand.