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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Stats NZ launches data visualisation competition – Media release

17 June 2020

A competition encouraging Kiwis to create cool visualisations with census data has just been launched, Stats NZ said today.

The competition encourages people to create a cool, interactive visualisation of 2018 Census data about the way people commute to work and education – this data was released today. A prize of $5,000 is on offer for the winner, and Stats NZ will promote and share the winning entry.

“This is an opportunity for data and geospatial enthusiasts to showcase their innovation and skills using 2018 Census data,” general manager social and population insights Jason Attewell said. “We’ve left this as open to the imagination as possible and we’re really excited to see what people come up with.”

The competition will run from 17 June until 15 July and is open to any New Zealand resident who isn’t an employee of Stats NZ. The winning visualisation will be announced on 29 July, and the winner will receive $5,000, and a link to their product will be placed on Stats NZ’s website and promoted through Stats NZ channels.

Full information about the competition can be found on the Stats NZ website at See Datafinder – commuter view for the data.

Submissions will need to meet minimum quality and usability criteria to qualify, and entrants must agree to abide by all Stats NZ’s terms and conditions.

About CommuterView
In 2013, Stats NZ developed and released its own CommuterView product using 2013 Census data. This interactive, well-used product shows how people in New Zealand travelled to and from work. It’s a rich dataset with a lot of value for central and local government, academics, transit companies, and other transport and city planners.

Stats NZ originally planned to develop a 2018 version itself, but time constraints relating to the work required to be done on the 2018 dataset before it could be released have made it challenging to do so.

“Once we understood the challenges facing us, we realised what an amazing opportunity it could be to open this visualisation development up to everyone in New Zealand,” Mr Attewell said. “I’m genuinely excited to see what people can do with this data using their skills and experience. New Zealand is famous around the world for its creative and innovative spirit and I’m really keen to see that in action in the entries we receive. Opening this up to see what others can do also fits with our philosophy that census data is Aotearoa’s data.”

Mapping where we live and work
A series of maps which plot where people in New Zealand live and work have also been produced based on the 2018 commuting data.

View the maps

About the 2018 Census dataset
We combined data from the census forms with administrative data to create the 2018 Census dataset, which meets Stats NZ’s quality criteria for population structure information.

We added real data about real people to the dataset where we were confident the people should be counted but hadn’t completed a census form. We also used data from the 2013 Census and administrative sources and statistical imputation methods to fill in some missing characteristics of people and dwellings.

Data quality for 2018 Census provides more information on the quality of the 2018 Census data. An independent panel of experts has assessed the quality of the 2018 Census dataset. The panel has endorsed Stats NZ’s overall methods and concluded that the use of government administrative records has improved the coverage of key variables such as age, sex, ethnicity, and place. The panel’s Initial Report of the 2018 Census External Data Quality Panel assessed the methodologies used by Stats NZ to produce the final dataset, as well as the quality of some of the key variables. Its second report 2018 Census External Data Quality Panel: Assessment of variables assessed an additional 31 variables.

In its third report, Final report of the 2018 Census External Data Quality Panel, the panel made 24 recommendations, several relating to preparations for the 2023 Census. Along with this report, the panel, supported by Stats NZ, produced a series of graphs summarising the sources of data for key 2018 Census individual variables, 2018 Census External Data Quality Panel: Data sources for key 2018 Census individual variables.

Quick guide to the 2018 Census (updated 16 September 2019) outlines the key changes we introduced as we prepared for the 2018 Census and the changes we made once collection was complete.

The geographic boundaries are as at 1 January 2018. See Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018.

Definitions and metadata
2018 Census – DataInfo+ provides information about methods and related metadata.

2018 Census information by variable and quality – DataInfo+ provides information about the variables and their quality.

Data quality ratings for 2018 Census variables provides information on data quality ratings.