ABS pulls Census app, points it at the right data
Party like it's 2006
For a couple of days, the Australian Bureau of Statistics looked like the coolest government statistician on Earth, after it launched an iOS app linked to Census data.
Be patient: the ABS says it will
launched its fixed app "soon"
Today, however, database administrators and app developers somewhere in Canberra will be playing pistols-at-dawn while getting the app pointed at the right data. The bureau yesterday afternoon pulled the app temporarily, because it reported 2006 Census data instead of using the recently-published 2011 Census.
Aimed at stats junkies who like to look at the stuff – but don’t actually want to download tables and fiddle around with spreadsheets or databases – the app puts Census data by postcode onto the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch, along with economic indicators like inflation, GDP and employment.
It also linked to the Bureau’s social media accounts.
El Reg supposes the explanation for the error is simple enough: wanting to get the development underway ahead of the 2011 Census data release earlier this month, the Bureau sensibly developed the interfaces ahead of time, populated from the older tables – and forgot to revise the links before the 23 July launch of the app.
Being deeply familiar with the Bureau’s Census data – and more recently winding through the business of aligning the data in 2006 tables with that of the 2011 Census – this writer wishes the developers and DBAs well in their coming sleepless nights. ®
"Coolest government statistician on Earth"??
Hey , back in the late 80s (ask yer parents kids) we took the ABS census and put it on CD-ROM with a software package to generate tables and choropleth maps so you could access the data with no more than a PC-AT (12MHz CPU, 640k RAM, 10Mb hard drive, EGA graphics, DOS 3.3 etc) and shutdown mainframes for quite a few people in the process, never mind the massive computational resources of an iOs device.
CDATA86 aka "SuperMap" by Space-Time Research if you want to look it up - yeah, glory days.
Anyway, the point was the ABS has always been a leader at this stuff. We did other countries later, but the ABS was the one that had the vision to take what we were building and welcome us (in relative terms) whereas the UK and US were a complete PITA.
And yeah, we did censuses from other years too and did all the alignment of data terms & geographic boundaries etc for you too (that's the "Time" part of "Space-Time Research"), so I'm sorry if you had to do all that sort of stuff yourself Richard, cos we did it all 25 years ago.
I'll get me zimmerframe...
Re: Come to their census
What do you mean? It's functionally working fine.
Content population is not the responsibility of the tester :)
Come to their census
..does nobody test these days?