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Open data and the Stats NZ Datarama

We’re excited to be a partner for the Stats NZ Datarama next Friday, 24 March.

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Posted by Matt McGregor
March 15th, 2017

StatsNZ Meshblocks

Next week, we're partnering with Hack Miramar and Statistics New Zealand—among other great partners—for the Stats NZ Datarama.

This event is a chance for data users to get their hands dirty with the brand new Stats NZ API, and use it to build on Stats NZ data. Any feedback the Stats NZ team get will feed into future iterations of the API—which will then lead to a better API for data users. 

Aside from supporting a great project, we’re coming on board for a two main reasons. First, we’re keen to point participants to some of the data published across the Koordinates platform, which they can use alongside Stats NZ’s new API to build something new.

Beyond the data on Koordinates.com, there’s plenty of data for folks to use on sites across the rest of our platform, including:

And, of course, there’s the Stats NZ Datafinder, which has some great spatial datasets from Statistics New Zealand that folks can access and query, including Age by Meshblock and the generalised 2016 Meshblock dataset. The datasets on the Datafinder—as well as the other sites listed above—can also be accessed using the Koordinates query API.

Second, and more broadly, we love participating in events that point to the future of open data in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Koordinates team have been involved in the open data movement since the mid 2000s, and it’s exciting to see agencies like Statistics New Zealand working to raise the bar.

The open data movement is at a real turning point. Traditionally the focus of open data has been to open up more data—often at the expense of opening data better. But this is changing. Agencies are evolving to make their open data much easier for people to find, appraise and access in the specifications and manner of their choice, and are updating it frequently enough for professionals to rely on.

Events like the Datarama show how authoritative data from government agencies—published openly and in a manner that is designed and engineered with the end user in mind—can kickstart some great projects. And not just projects for hackathons (as great as they can be), but the projects across industry, government and civil society that shape our country.

A big thanks to Mike and the Stats NZ team for inviting us on board.

Image credit: Derived from Meshblock 2016 Generalised Version from Statistics New Zealand, which is made available under a Creative Commons 3.0 NZ licence.