July 2015 report

Allan Barger

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Hey folks,

This month we’d like to take a diversion from our usual report update and instead talk about CKAN’s DataStore extension (however - for the record - another 269 datasets were added in July). The extension enables to create machine readable endpoints ( or data APIs) from properly formatted tabular data.

Currently there are around 1,700 machine readable resources on

But what does that mean?

Well if you were so inclined you could write some code, point it at an API enabled dataset and thus create a visualisation without having to download the data. Then, when the data is updated, new information will be instantly reflected in your visualisation. There are applications that already use APIs including the National Map.

You can spot machine readable resources by looking for the green Data API button. Clicking the button provides a popup with options for using the data.

illustrating the location of the data api button

But what does it do?

It’s probably easier to show you what it does. We’ll use the twitter stats dataset because it’s easy to follow. The data from the most recent resource can be accessed by using;*%20from%20%22f87fd82a-ccc5-4cca-8743-589f9029d919%22

That may not look all that enticing (it’s JSON), but your computer could eat it up. For example it could take that data stream and, from it, identify the 10 most frequent Tweeters for the month of July.

top tweeters in july - for illustrative purposes only

Then, your computer could take the same code and re-use it for data from June.

top tweeters in june - for illustrative purposes only

We could even take that code, put it on a webpage, and then every time the page was visited the chart would display the most prolific APS Tweeters – really, the sky is the limit.

The cool thing about Data APIs is that they are constrained only by what data is available, and your imagination. Check out what others have cooked up using open data at the latest GovHack competition.

And the value?

The automated process of creating data API’s allows government entities to avoid the costs associated with setting up their own data serving (or, sharing) infrastructure. The data from these APIs can be used to create visualisations like the interactive Australian budget or applications to inform about energy ratings.

For more information on value of open data, have a look at some of the reports available via our open data toolkit.

So what’s next?

We haven’t really talked much about Data APIs in the past, but from now on we’ll be reporting on the usage of the datastore_search_sql method.

chart illustrating api calls in june with a considerable spike during govhack weekend

Usage of datastore_search_sql peaked over the GovHack weekend

And from August onwards you’ll find the following table included in our monthly report.

ASIC - Company Register   Company Register - Current 3,289
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Televisions - tv_2015_08_10.csv 1,915
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Air Conditioners - ac_2015_08_09.csv 962
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Fridges and Freezers - rf_2015_08_10.csv 779
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Clothes Washers - cw_2015_08_10.csv 746
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Clothes Dryers - cd_2015_08_10.csv 740
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Dishwashers - dw_2015_08_10.csv 712
Energy Rating Data for household appliances – Labelled Products Computer Monitors - mo_2015_08_10.csv 688
School Locations (Victoria) All schools list.csv 93
Sample household electricity time of use data Electricity Time of Use Data Set 89

Allan and the Team

Statistics / Measures

  July 2015
Total Webpage Visits 35,408
Total Page views 161,192
Total Discoverable Datasets 7,146
Total Organisations 173
Total Data Resources / Files 35,158
Total Machine Readable / Data API Resources 1733
5 Most Active OrganisationsTop 5 Organisations by Total Datasets
Geoscience Australia Geoscience Australia
Australian Institute of Marine Science Australian Institute of Marine Science
City of Greater Geelong Australian Antarctic Division
City of Gold Coast Department of Finance
Department of Communications Department of Agriculture
5 Most Recent Published DatasetsTop 5 Most Recently Updated Datasets
Alpine Shire Council Garbage Collection Zones Geelong Bike Paths
City of Hobart Significant Trees Employment attributable to tourism
City of Hobart Playgrounds Geelong Bus Shelters
Ballarat Skate Parks Income Management Summary Data
Rail Statistics TrainLine ABC Local Online Photo Stories 2009-2014
5 Most Highly Requested DatasetsVotesStatus
Free the G-NAF Address Dataset 141 In Review
Free Postcode and Postal Address Data 76 In Review
NBN Datasets 42 In Review
DCDB Cadastre 41 In Review
Australians Schools 36 In Review

As always you can find more of our stats here.

Comments (2)

Hey Allan,

It's been a year or more since the topic of NBN Datasets has been raised. Any update from NBN's side?

Hi Lee,

I’ll follow up with our colleagues in the Department of Communications. In the meantime you may want to have a look at this new dataset about Telecommunications in New Developments (


Last updated: 24 January 2018