South Australian team wins ‘spatial excellence’ prize for putting migration on the map


A still image from the interactive map created for South Australia’s Multicultural Story.

The multicultural affairs team in South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet are sharing the glory of an award for “spatial excellence” with the University of Adelaide’s Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research.

Instead of a typical report, the research project used government statistics to produce a “story map” called South Australia’s Multicultural Story. The interactive online product charts the history of migration to the state after World War Two in a series of interactive graphs and maps to give users a clear sense of where migrants have come from over the years and where they ended up.

“Users of this web resource can explore key findings at their own pace, categorised into specific topics of migration, with more detailed information on-hand for users with a specific interest,” explains a statement from the department.

“Web maps feature to provide a geospatial context to South Australia’s settlement patterns post-WWII to present day. Data was provided by state or Local Government Area, benefiting local government and other interested organisations seeking to use this data for policy and planning activities.”

For people whose internet connections aren’t quite up to running the site, the team has packed most of the same information about the cultural makeup of SA into a static document for download.

The collaboration earned an award for “spatial enablement” in a regional heat of the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards, which recognise examples of excellence in the fields of surveying and the use of spatial information.

“The Award for Spatial Enablement recognises products or projects in which the application of spatial information, methodology and/or tools has greatly improved the outcomes of a project, process or product,” DPC explains. “The win makes the project eligible for the national awards to be held in 2020.”

There are nine regional heats in the awards program and the overall winners will be announced at the Locate conference in Brisbane next April.

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