The state of the environment report is a comprehensive review of the condition of Australia’s environment, which incorporates large amounts of scientific and spatial data.
For the 2016 report (released in March 2017), the Department of the Environment and Energy wanted to digitise all content for the first time. This provided an opportunity to feature scientific data more than in previous reports, and allow readers to interact with the data. Biotext was engaged by the department to help develop an interactive data visualisation tool in govCMS, and use this tool to create data visualisations that:
- showcase technical and scientific data
- are clearly and accurately understood by a broad readership
- allow readers to inspect the data by filtering content in and out of view, and hovering over graphs and maps to see detail
- are consistent in style throughout the report.
Data visualisations needed to accommodate different types of data and discipline standards across sections of the report, which addressed different aspects of the environment.
As part of our data consulting role in this project, we also helped establish a process and standards for data collection and storage that enable state of the environment readers to access the data behind each graph (ie ‘open’ and accessible data), and allow the department to add new data as they become available.
The data visualisation tool is available throughout the state of the environment website. The example figure shown below is of household energy expenditure, by dwelling type, 2012.
The new digital platform for the State of the Environment has delivered improved transparency and access to environmental data, making it more accessible to decision makers (including the private sector) and the public …
Source: Jackson W (2017). Five-yearly environmental stocktake highlights the conflict between economy and nature. The Conversation (07-03-17)