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Geospatial data opens up more applications for open data
27 Dec 2017


Looking for choices of recreational facilities? Searching for information about schools, clinics or electric vehicle charging stations in a specific district? The geospatial data of the newly revamped data.gov.hk portal can be a handy reference for you to visualise multiple datasets on a map.

This new function enables users to show on a single map as many as three selected datasets among the 100-plus geospatial datasets on population statistics, public facilities, traffic data, schools, etc. By clicking the location pins on the map, details of individual data entries will pop up for viewing. Users can also extract data entries of selected datasets in a self-specified area or by district boundary to fit their needs.

"Datasets on the portal provide valuable information to the public. Through the introduction of new and enhanced functions, we hope that the datasets will be more handy for use, especially by members of the public. The more user-friendly interfaces and map-based presentation will enable the public to acquire data more easily for their own knowledge, analysis or academic study," said a spokesman for the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.

"Taking the datasets of public facilities like libraries and sports facilities as an example, apart from knowing their locations, members of the public may also make well-informed plans for weekends by combining different datasets to search for multiple recreational facilities in specific districts, like places where they can enjoy barbecue and camping at the same time."

Developers can use data on the portal to develop innovative applications and services which bring convenience to the public. Several new functions are thus introduced to streamline the process of data downloading for developers. These include the "Export Data" button which enables easy downloading of geospatial data in the common machine-readable format of JSON file, the "Download Queue" which allows users to bookmark datasets for download in one go, and the enhanced search function which supports searching of dataset content as well as basic information.

"The Government strives to provide more open data in digital format for the public. Another 200 new Application Programming Interfaces will be made available on the portal in March 2018 to facilitate developers' use," the spokesman added.

To get familiar with the revamped portal, especially the new functions, users may browse the tutorials specially produced to offer a quick guide to the different features at data.gov.hk.

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