December 02, 2002

This Is Your City

OK, so maybe I'm just more interested in this because I have to be, but there are a number of pretty good resources on Melbourne's suburbs. It's quite interesting to confirm or disprove your prejudices about how suburbs vote, who lives in them, whether they're rich or poor, and how they came to be in the first place. Moving up the nerd scale, once you start comparing different sets of data for different areas, you gain quite complex understandings of how Melbourne operates as a set of interlocked suburban agglomerations. Try profiling your local area with the following tools and see if anything surprises you.

For starters, one of the better online suburban history resources is the unpromisingly named Australian Places, an Open Learning resource served out of Monash Uni. In this, we learn that Glen Iris was named for an early solicitor's residence.

Then have a look at Suburbs in Time, the Department of Infrastructure's online tour of Melbourne's suburbs by statistics. The information here includes some measures which pertain mainly to the DOI's brief as builder of big things, but is still interesting. Did you know that out of 328 suburbs, Abbotsford is 324th in terms of three-car households?

It's worth complementing Suburbs in Time with the Victorian Electoral Commission's State electorate information. It's a nice summary of various indicators like age, income and employment. When mapped against the Australian Electoral Commission's Federal electorate information, you can start to build some less homogenised suburban profiles.

And then, suburban explorers, time to roll up your sleeves and get spatial: the Land Channel's very own publicly accessible interactive map, one of the larger GIS apps around. Find out how far you really have to drive to work!

posted on December 02, 2002 at 04:39 PM by darren.