Startup Incubator Isn't Impressed With The Australian Government's New Open Data Map Which Is Meant To Boost Innovation

Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Image.

The federal government today released a massive open data set in the hope it will inspire new Australian innovations but much of the data included is either already outdated or publicly available.

The interactive map pulls data from a number of government agencies to include information on land, water, infrastructure, broadband access and population.

“The map is part of the government’s commitment to increasing the number of publicly available datasets,” federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

“The geospatial data is visually presented in a map format, enabling users to see the data that they extract.”

Startup incubator BlueChilli chief growth hacker Alan Jones said the release won’t make any noticeable difference to Australia’s tech startups.

“It’s a visual interface data sets already publicly available from the open data initiative which was established by the previous Federal government. Since it’s all based on open and publicly available data, anyone with a little mapping and data experience could code something up themselves without too much trouble,” he said.

The pace startups need to move at means they can’t afford to wait extended periods of time for bureaucrats to decide whether or not they’re going to make data publicly available, Jones said, adding the expansion of the open data initiative is however, important.

“Government needs encouragement to keep making more data sets publicly available and it needs to be nudged to keep the data sets current and relevant,” he said.

Jones said the map is good for browsing your own neighbourhood to clarify what you might already know, including how fast your internet is and where you could move to get a faster connection.

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