censusheat is a simple, visual and informative app that showcases census data for postcode regions/polygons.
This app was my third entry in the the App My State competition in 2010 – which was a Victorian Government initiative to give innovation in the Victorian state a kickstart.
I wanted to create an app that was purely map based – since I wanted to explore the Google Maps API in depth. All Google APIs are very powerful yet I rarely see many innovative and complex uses.
The simplicity of this idea was the reason behind little or no research being conducted. I did stumble upon similar sites – all in Flash. :)
The most complex part of this app was getting hold of the polygon information for all Victorian postcode regions. Once I had these, I created KMLs for each particular dataset that I wanted to visualize. I did this by re-using the census information I had from building census/heat. I used the postcode to extract the information and populate that particular KML.
The outcome was a simple to use and informative site which was fast loading and full of useful information.
The app is comprised of four different heatmaps – they are: Monthly House Repayments, Weekly Rental Repayments, Weekly Income Repayments and Postcode Population Density.
I thought of several useful scenarios for the app – one being: to identify suburbs that are going through the gentrification process for potential property investment or home buying.
Other than Advertising – there are no real monetization strategies I could see for censusheat in it’s current state. There really didn’t need to be any. I looked at it in terms of ”What part of censusheat would I pay for?”
If the app was well received by researchers in any field, financial/educational/etc, and gained traction, I would expand it to include more comprehensive heatmaps – leading to a small, one time subscription fee.
Of course! It was such a simple app to build that delivered, in my opinion, really good, but limited, information – I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, any education/research institutions want a custom heatmap derived from census data? :)
You can check out censusheat at - http://censusheat.greenlemon.com.au