[talk-au] Introducing myself and I have a question too

Matthew Landauer matthew at openaustralia.org
Wed Aug 8 06:53:04 BST 2012


First, let me introduce myself. My name is Matthew Landauer. I'm the
founder and one of the directors of the OpenAustralia Foundation [1].
We're a charity that build online digital democracy projects. Some of
the things that we've built to date are:

http://www.openaustralia.org - OpenAustralia.org is a website that
enables people to keep track of what politicians are doing and saying
on our behalf in Parliament.

http://www.planningalerts.org.au - PlanningAlerts.org.au is a free
service which searches planning authority websites for development
applications in your area and then emails you their details.

http://www.electionleaflets.org.au - ElectionLeaflets.org.au is a new
kind of election monitoring website focusing on election leaflets, one
of the main weapons in the fight for votes in Australia.

I'm a software developer as well and have had done a little bit of OSM
mapping of walking trails around where I live in Katoomba in the Blue

So, why am I mailing this list?

All of our projects have involved some kind of geo lookup, where we
find out where something is, or the user is and we map that back to
some kind of government area, either and electoral boundary or a local
government or some such thing. We've had a number of ad-hoc approaches
to this over the years but now we we would like to make this all

Recently, mySociety, a UK based charity and one the worlds pioneers in
online digital democracy released a web service called mapit:

What it does is slurp administrative boundary data from OSM and
present and republish it in a really easy to use (and free) web

What I would like to do is help the Australian OSM community in
whatever way I can get the administrative boundary data in OSM up to
date and complete. My personal focus really is on the local government
area (LGA) boundaries.

Since I'm a virtually complete newbie in the OSM sphere I don't want
to just blunder into something that I know little about, tread on
peoples' toes and generally create havoc.

I see that 2011 LGA boundary data is available on data.gov.au:

and according to this post
data from data.gov.au can safely be included in OSM.

Is this something that has already been done, or is already in progress?

If not, what can I do to help? I'm happy to learn and get myself up to
speed in whatever technical way is required. I just need a little
guidance. ;-)


[1] http://www.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/

Dr Matthew Landauer
Director, OpenAustralia Foundation

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