[@OKau] OpenAus

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 8 02:16:43 UTC 2015

Hi all, 
I thought I'd come out of my cave and tell everyone where I'm up to with my new project. 
I've been coding/data wrangling at least 12 hours a day 7 days a week for the past few weeks now, putting together https://openaus.net.au which I've just added the donation/payment system to.
It is a very large project and has the potential to become a much bigger project as new data sets are added. 
The reason I've been delayed a fortnight or so is mainly due to sorting out the Commonwealth tenders data which is a much bigger data set than any of the others I deal with. It covers a quarter of a century of data and it takes a bit of work figuring it out and setting it up. I believe it is also a very powerful data set in political and financial transparency terms and I'm seeing very interesting patterns in the spending patterns based on which government is in power. 
I didn't get time to add in the MP for every parliament down through the 25 years to the live data but I've had to go to launch due to the plan submitted under the NEIS program so I've had to draw a line under the coding and data in order to enter into a campaign to share what I have done and seek financial support. 
In reality, putting together a site of this size and complexity in a matter of weeks is extremely efficient/productive and there is plenty of opportunity to engage with different user groups with regards their needs in my opinion. NEIS however requires me to keep to a schedule I set out originally during the business course where I expected to start a funding campaign a month ago. I've updated the financials for my first report to NEIS due Monday but I do not know how my change in timetable will be seen to affect my eligibility to remain on NEIS support.
This could be a major issue for me even though I only forecast an income of $500 for July. I only got done implementing the donation/payment system a couple of days ago it just isn't something that can be rushed. If you would like to support my ongoing work please visit the site and click on Contribution for further steps. Without your support there is not a lot of hope for a project of this scale because it can not be done on any basis other than full time and then some.
I'm thinking of putting payment buttons on the actual downloads including access to the HTML/CSS/JSON versions of tenders data sets. These can be large data sets depending on the search criteria so a data set with about 5k results will be about 5MB as a text file. I'm wanting to test how these versions download for people with normal internet access while it is all free to access. My own (shared) internet quality/speed is not up to par so I'm not sure if this is a problem just for me that other people are not likely to encounter.
Examples are results from 2013-2016 financial years for postcode 2000https://openaus.net.au/commonwealth/tenders/postcodes.php?postcode=2000&year1=2013-07-01&year2=2016-06-30&submit=Go The HTML/CSS/JSON version is the actual data set (including interactive HTML for over 6k rows in this instance), the results you see on the above page are higher level results grouped by ABN and Agency. Where there are results for the search term from other data sets (grants/charities) those results also show).
orresults from all time for the key word of health in contract descriptions https://openaus.net.au/commonwealth/tenders/descriptions.php?description=health&order=approved&submit=Go (again over 6k results)
For the IT geeks here is the result for search term 'Linux' https://openaus.net.au/commonwealth/tenders/descriptions.php?description=Linux&order=approved&submit=Go
Personally I think the really interesting thing about the tenders data is how it changes depending on who is in government and who the local MP is http://openaus.net.au/commonwealth/tenders/index.php?electorate=Bennelong
I have launched the hashtag #openaus for conversation on Twitter around financial/political transparency and open data as it relates to that. You can post to it any time - questions, resources, opinions whatever and Saturday mornings from 10-11am will be for more concentrated discussion. I'm doing this in favour of the face to face events which were just too difficult for me to manage at this juncture. I also think a hashtag for this specific topic is a really good idea, just took a while for it to occur to me. 
Thanks for taking the time-

Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter | InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 
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