Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

Australia's tier 4 data centre. Micron21 mission critical hosting services.

History in Action. The fine line between genius and madness?

By johnboy - 15 June 2012 12

history in action

The very expensive looking History-in-Action website has come to my attention.

Apparently part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations it’s supposed to be offering historical exploration of Canberra via bus routes and regions.

I’m really not sure about it, but I’m positive some of you will have opinions.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
12 Responses to
History in Action. The fine line between genius and madness?
Little_Green_Bag 3:07 pm 17 Jun 12

gooterz said :

Doesnt work in IE.. useless!

What *does* work in IE? I ditched it years ago and now solely use Firefox and Chrome.

gooterz 6:15 pm 16 Jun 12

mrmagooey said :

PS. Feel free to fork it on github and make improvements, probably a few quick wins to be had in there 🙂

http://www.toiletmap.gov.au/default.aspx

Is a fairly good website

mrmagooey 4:39 pm 16 Jun 12

Hi all, one of the developers of historyinaction.info here. As Geoff described earlier in the comments, this site was created in the course of one fairly caffeine fueled weekend by myself and two mates at the govhack.org event held at UC’s Inspire Centre a fortnight ago.

The event was run over the course of about 48 hours during which we: were told the main themes, came up with the idea, (naively) parsed 55,000 National Archives of Australia photos, set up a webserver, and most importantly, created an interactive web page which I think the graphic designer would be pleased to hear is “expensive looking” 🙂

I totally agree with some of the comments regarding the site, it doesn’t work in IE (Safari and Chrome are what we are most familiar with), the photos are inaccurate (doing contextually accurate geo-tagging across a large dataset is hard to do in a few hours), and things are not as clear as they potentially could be.

For me the real takeaway here is that even given the before-mentioned issues with the site, there still appears to be a fairly high level of interest in websites that promote and inform about the Canberra area, or perhaps just in novel methods of looking at government data.

Finally, I would thoroughly recommend the the links that Geoff posted (and in people getting involved next year!), in particular we were very impressed with http://photosearch.us.to, which is a very fast and accessible method to explore National Archives of Australia photos.

PS. Feel free to fork it on github and make improvements, probably a few quick wins to be had in there 🙂

HenryBG 7:56 am 16 Jun 12

grmsn said :

This site was created as part of a community run co-creation event called GovHack. The site provides an insight into what can be achieved with government data, and how government data needs to be structured in order to produce valuable outcomes for the community.

The sites creators, who created the site in one weekend, would value any constructive criticism. The site will not be perfect, that was not the purpose of the weekend. I would strongly encourage RiotACT users to understand what GovHack was all about and the rules when commenting.

These types of community run events are essential to encouraging greater co-creation between government and citizens. If you think you could do better, I would encourage you get involved in next year’s event. 🙂

To see the winners you should check out:
http://www.govhack.org/winners
http://www.govhack.org/teams

Cheers,
Geoff Mason
GovHack Team Member

I hope it’s not giving anybody too much of an insight into what can be done with government data. I click on a bus route in Curtin and get “CSIR Clunies ROss Street” and “Album of photographs at Melville Island”.

Worse than useless.

Chocolate teapot springs to mind.

Here is something that works:
http://www.environment.gov.au/metadataexplorer/explorer.jsp

gooterz 12:07 am 16 Jun 12

Doesnt work in IE.. useless!

thatsnotme 1:45 pm 15 Jun 12

Ok, given the history of how this site came to be, my original comments were harsh. With the ‘Celebrating Canberra’s Centenary’ logo on it, any casual visitor would think that it was an officially endorsed and paid for product. I, like most people, would be less stinging in my criticism knowing that my tax dollar hadn’t paid for it!

I do stand by the comments as to the site’s usability. It won’t even load in IE9, and the filtering of the Government data set is not thorough at all – photos of farming carrots in Griffith isn’t something I’ve experienced on an Action bus…but perhaps I’ve just been catching the wrong buses!

I’m guessing this page wasn’t ever really supposed to be made public in this manner, and the fact of a short development time frame is why there are bugs? I’d suggest that the page should have at least a link to the GovHack site, so any potential visitor can see what gave birth to it.

DrKoresh 1:12 pm 15 Jun 12

What do the bus routes have to do with any of this? 😐

grmsn 12:05 pm 15 Jun 12

This site was created as part of a community run co-creation event called GovHack. The site provides an insight into what can be achieved with government data, and how government data needs to be structured in order to produce valuable outcomes for the community.

The sites creators, who created the site in one weekend, would value any constructive criticism. The site will not be perfect, that was not the purpose of the weekend. I would strongly encourage RiotACT users to understand what GovHack was all about and the rules when commenting.

These types of community run events are essential to encouraging greater co-creation between government and citizens. If you think you could do better, I would encourage you get involved in next year’s event. 🙂

To see the winners you should check out:
http://www.govhack.org/winners
http://www.govhack.org/teams

Cheers,
Geoff Mason
GovHack Team Member

Spectra 11:17 am 15 Jun 12

It looks like an interesting start. I don’t know if there’s plans to extend it (though there’s some time to go before the centenary yet) – links to more information about the historical items would be great. Maybe also showing actual route information, historical bus routes (for the train(bus)-spotters amongst us) etc.
One of the best bits about the whole thing right now is the little ‘fork me on github’ link. Yay for open source!

piperdoon 11:13 am 15 Jun 12

doesn’t make much sense to me – events don’t seem to relate to area? clicking on belconnen bus routes and getting mentions of albury, queensland etc?????

Anyone else work it out?

b2 11:03 am 15 Jun 12

JB, I think you’ll find it was made for free as part of govhack.

thatsnotme 11:01 am 15 Jun 12

Wow…that site is just terrible. Clicking on several locations, I’m served up scenic photos of Fraser Island, and regional towns in Victoria. Perhaps I missed something, and for the centenary Fraser Islands beaches are being relocated to somewhere in Woden? I’m all for that.

It doesn’t work at all in IE9, the chosen historical moments have no context to them, and there’s no way to click on any of them to get more information. Nothing on the map is labelled, so you’re just clicking blindly…and I could go on.

I really hope that it wasn’t actually expensive – it looks like the type of thing that was made for someone else, that’s been (badly) modified for the ACT. The whole thing is an embarrassment.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site