Leveraging PSMA spatial data for growth – .id Case Study

The challenge

.id (informed decisions) is a company that provides demographic analysis tools to local governments across Australia and New Zealand. Their online tools enable local governments to perform key planning tasks such as resource and service allocation, resource planning, and asset management.

As General Manager, Janet Coombs, explains: “Our clients need to understand demographic characteristics at a very localised level to enable planning and investment decisions. We break down the demographic data available through the ABS, and produce population forecasts at a suburb or smaller level, to allow clients to understand the diversity of their area.

“Understanding where people are in terms of their spatial location is increasingly important in helping us build more accurate products. The world of online mapping is becoming more sophisticated, and so we need internal systems that are robust and flexible.”

“We had a supplier who provided us with base level mapping through the PSMA dataset, but, because he was moving out of the business, he suggested that we work with Callpoint Spatial. So we gave them a call.”

The solution

“Callpoint have been extremely responsive to our business, and have made an effort to understand what we do and why we do it. They deliver the updates in a very timely and efficient manner, so it becomes something that we never need to worry about or chase up – it just happens automatically.

“But they’re more than just a supplier. As demographers, longitudinal study is very important to us. We often need to look at data at a particular point in time. Traditionally, when new data was made available, it used to overwrite the previous historical data. But Callpoint were able to find datasets both within Australia and New Zealand that had a historical component and a fixed point in time, so that we could compare the latest data with the historical data.

“In this modern world, there is so much data out there, and it’s not the lack of data that’s the problem – it’s actually being able to find the right data. Where Callpoint add a great deal of value is suggesting additional datasets that may be useful to us, and getting us evaluation copies so that we can understand what’s out there. Being an expert in the area, Brian, Callpoint’s MD, can bring to our notice data that we would not be able to find otherwise.

“This has enabled us to improve our service to our clients, and we’re embarking on some exciting growth as a result. In fact, we’ve been so successful in serving local government that our work now covers 80 percent of Australia’s population.

“We have a very strong focus on maintaining and supporting our existing clients, but we also know that the desire for making sound, evidence-based investment decisions isn’t just limited to local government. So we’re now producing a national demographic analysis tool that will be made available to a wider audience.

“We’re also expanding overseas, to New Zealand and other countries, to replicate that delivery of online information to local governments in other geographic areas.

“We see an increasing need for good spatial information to feed into both of those processes. If Callpoint Spatial continue to provide us with the support and service that they have, I imagine we’ll be very happy clients for a long time to come.”

Click here to find out about how Callpoint Spatial can help you with your PSMA Australia data needs.

  Janet Coombs

General Manager, .id (Informed Decisions)

Mapping out the right solution for Explore Australia Publishing

Explore Australia Publishing, a division of Hardie Grant Publishing, is a Melbourne-based publishing company. Established 32 years ago, Explore Australia Publishing has a long history of producing quality Australian maps, guides and atlases. The company’s flagship publication, Explore Australia, is an enduring bestseller, with over a million copies sold since its first publication in 1980.

The organisation has a vast repository of content that covers every aspect of recreational tourism in Australia. Its in-house cartographic skills and content management expertise has established Explore Australia at the forefront of Australian maps, guides and atlases publishing.

Here, Chief Cartographer Bruce McGurty explains the role that PSMA Australia data and Callpoint Spatial played in helping Explore Australia develop its Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities.

The challenge

“In the early days, our cartography was manually created. Although we eventually digitised this into CAD drawings, this didn’t incorporate any geospatial elements initially.

In 2004 we decided to build a new map production system that catered to all of our products. We identified the need to set up and leverage a GIS in doing that. I did some research to find out where we could get the relevant data from and what the cost would be. However, being a small publishing company that needed Australia-wide coverage, we found that the cost and effort to attain this data were rather prohibitive.

When we learned of the PSMA and their ability to provide national coverage, we were immediately interested. To us, they represented a one-stop shop – having access to PSMA data meant that we no longer had to go to each state’s jurisdiction to get authoritative, nationwide data.

We soon became a direct PSMA Value Added Reseller (VAR). We started using their Transport and Topography dataset, which quickly allowed us greater scope and flexibility in the development and creation of map-based travel publications.

The solution

“The PSMA data enhanced and complemented the data we already had, enabling us to provide more up-to-date information on where to go, how to get there and what to do when you arrive. It also helps us create mapping at better scales right down to street-level information for both our web and hard copy maps.

We were pleased with PSMA’s data, but it wasn’t always easy talking to the mothership – after all, they engage with many Full Access VARs across Australia. As a small business without a full-time technical resource, we soon found that we needed a higher level of support. The PSMA helped by putting us in touch with another of their Full Access VARs, Callpoint Spatial, and we subsequently became a Secondary VAR to them.

Dealing with Callpoint Spatial was fantastic. They served as a conduit straight back to PSMA for any technical issues we experienced. As a company that relies on PSMA’s data on a day-to-day basis, Callpoint Spatial’s responsiveness was very helpful to us. Their service was always prompt and they always kept us in the loop on any progress. If anything needed to be done, you knew they would do it within a couple of days.”

The result

“The relationship between us and Callpoint Spatial has been really positive. Brian Beckor, Callpoint Spatial’s Managing Director, is an excellent representative of PSMA. He has gone far beyond what I expected from a supplier.

For instance, prior to engaging Callpoint Spatial, we were investigating where we could get our geocoding requirements serviced.  Although there are quite a few players in the industry that offer this service, we struggled to find a solution that suited our business needs. When we engaged with Callpoint Spatial, they came to our aid. They listened to what we needed and came up with a tailored solution, which was fantastic.

Having the Sec-VAR relationship with Callpoint Spatial has made life a lot easier. The fact that Callpoint are in the same city as us means that it’s very easy for us to meet and receive updates on what PSMA are doing.

As PSMA are growing, there will be some areas in their growth that we would want to leverage. Having Callpoint Spatial there as that channel between us will be extremely useful. Whether they’re updating us on PSMA’s Features of Interest initiatives, or letting us know about enhancements in PSMA data, Callpoint Spatial’s commitment to keeping us abreast of any developments is a big plus.

For anyone else looking to engage the services of PSMA, Callpoint Spatial should definitely be your go-to people. I cannot fault them – they’ve been fantastic.”

Click here to find out about how Callpoint Spatial can help you with your PSMA Australia data needs. Bruce McGurty

Chief Cartographer, Explore Australia