Tackling Drought with Data Visualisation

By October 24th, 2018

A comparison of 2010’s year-to-date rainfall (the left hand image) to 2018’s year-to-date rainfall (the right hand image), inside the  platform

Australia’s drought has become a key issue, in 2018. A long stretch of dry weather during Australia’s April to October growing season is putting pressure on farmers and communities across the country. Part of addressing this challenge involves gathering and interpreting disparate pieces of data to inform decisions.

Recently, at Old Parliament House in Canberra at the National Drought Summit, we demonstrated our contribution to making information accessible and more easily interrogated, through our work on platforms that display spatial information. The Terria interface is being applied to the challenges facing drought-affected areas for the Joint Agency Drought Taskforce, bringing together data from several different sources.

The underlying data display software is known as the ‘TerriaJS‘ platform, and our Terria team’s work on the platform allows governments and other stakeholders to gain deeper insights into current drought conditions, where needs and sensitivities are and where more support is needed. It also facilities coordination of response, and provides information on the spread of drought using the latest meteorological information.

The platform is now live, at https://map.drought.gov.au/

They’ve worked with a litany of other platforms, showcasing fascinating and high-impact applications of the visualisation of valuable data, including AREMI (Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure), NEII (National Environmental Information Infrastructure), SoE (State of Environment 2016), and Northern Australia Map.

The team working on this project include:

Over time, we’ll be making this interface publicly available. For updates, please check out our social media feeds or get in touch.


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