CDATA96 - Product Brief

Image - CDATA96 Logo


CDATA96 is a user friendly CD-ROM product which contains a large volume of tabulated Census data, digital boundaries and base map data, with software to produce tables, maps and graphs of the data. CDATA96 allows you to export the data for use in other applications, and to import other data from a variety of formats into the system. The product is available at National and State/Territory levels.

CDATA96 builds on the success of CDATA91 - using the popular MapInfo software package - to give easy access to the information collected in the recent Census. CDATA96 provides instant access to valuable information - the latest figures on Australian society - age, education, housing, income, transport, religion, ethnicity, occupation, and more, from a single Collection District to an entire State or total Australia.

Operating environment

CDATA96 operates on a Microsoft Windows environment using both Windows NT/ 2000 and Windows 95/98. CDATA96 provides faster information retrieval than CDATA91 and has extensive functionality designed to help you get the best analysis of 1996 Census data. The interface has been designed to accommodate both the advanced and novice user. It features improved on-line help and tutorials, and greater flexibility in the selection of data or geography.

What do you need to run CDATA96?

The minimum requirements for running CDATA96 are:

  • a 486 based PC - or higher [a Pentium is recommended]
  • Windows 95 or Windows NT
  • at least 8 megabytes of RAM for Windows 95 [16 megabytes is recommended]
  • at least 16 megabytes of RAM for Windows NT
  • at least 10 megabytes of hard disk space free and sufficient space to store base map data and working files (eg thematic maps)
  • a CD-ROM reader [Quad speed or better is recommended]

Release schedule

There was a two stage release for CDATA96 ;

CDATA96 (first release data) - September 1997
  • 1996 Basic Community Profile, Social and Housing characteristics for CD, SLA, LGA, SSD, SD, SDist, Postal Area, State/Territory;
  • 1996 Census Digital Boundaries of all standard ASGC geography, and Census-specific boundaries: Commonwealth and State Electoral Division (CED, SED), Suburb, Postal Area (known as CD-derived postcodes in 1991), and Urban Centre/Locality;
  • 1996 Digital Basic Base Map Data;
  • Time Series Profile data for 1991 and 1986 Censuses for SLA, LGA, SSD, SD, SDist, State/Territory on 1996 boundaries;
  • Full software functionality.

CDATA96 (second release data)
- June 1998 - Final Release Disks 1 and 2
This contained all the above, plus:
  • 1996 Basic Community Profile, Labour Force and Family characteristics for CD, SLA, LGA, SSD, SD, SDist, Postal Area, Suburb, UC/L, SOS, State/Territory;
  • Time Series Profile - 1986, 1991 and 1996 Censuses for SLA, LGA, SSD, SD, SDist, State/Territory;
  • Additional boundary data - revisions to CED/SED boundaries if required, and Indigenous Locations, Areas and Regions;
  • Interface for other 1996 Community Profiles.

CDATA96 Content

The CDATA96 package provides;
  • Installation software and help files, including user manual;
  • User friendly application software;
  • Documentation - eg. user manual, tutorials, release notes;
  • CBT module;
  • On-line help facilities - eg. context sensitive help, tutorials, data guide (dictionary);
  • Performance - fast, easy access, display and printing;
  • Community Profile data;
  • Digital boundaries and base map data (shapes and standard).

Community Profile Data

Community Profiles format the detailed Census data for small areas into sets of tables containing key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings. The profile series is available for all standard Census geographic areas from Collection District (CD) to total Australia.

Basic Community Profile
- contains 32 tables of quite detailed data for the following geographic levels: Collection District, Statistical Local Area, Local Government Area, Statistical Subdivision, Statistical Division, Statistical District, Commonwealth and State Electoral Divisions, Urban Centre/Locality, Section of State, Postal Area, Suburb, State, Australia.

Time Series Community Profile
- contains 21 tables of variables from the Basic Profile comparing data from the 1986, 1991 and 1996 Censuses where the classifications are comparable, available for the following geographic levels: Statistical Local Area, Local Government Area, Statistical Division, Statistical Subdivision, Statistical District, State, Australia

Optional Datapaks

Other data is available as separate Datapaks, individually priced, in formats suitable for direct import into CDATA96. These datapaks include SEIFA (Socio-economic indexes for areas), detailed base map data and all other Community Profiles - Indigenous, Usual Residents, Expanded and Working Population.

1996 Census Digital Boundaries

CDATA96 contains the following 1996 Census digital boundaries:

Collection District Postal Area
Statistical Local Area Suburbs - for Adelaide, Perth and major towns in Tasmania
Local Government Area Urban Centre/Locality
Statistical Subdivision Section of State
Statistical Division State/Territory
Statistical District Indigenous Locations,Areas, Regions
Commonwealth Electoral Divisions Working population SLAs
State Electoral Divisions

The boundaries match with the base map dataset described below.

Base Map Data

CDATA96 contains base map data (topographic detail files) developed by the ABS using data sourced from the Public Sector Mapping Agencies. The standard CDATA96 contains basic base map data - major roads, major rivers and railway lines.

You have the option to purchase, as an additional datapak, a detailed level of base map data which includes streets, town centres, rivers and features such as post offices, police stations, schools, caravan parks, churches, hospitals etc. This datapak is only available to purchasers of CDATA96.

Digital boundary and base map data for previous censuses is not included.

Other data

The following data is also included in CDATA96:

Time Series Link
File - assists comparison of CD data between Censuses, and indicates the degree to which a CD has changed between the 1996, 1991 and 1986 Censuses.

Geographic Link File - links CDs to other Census geography.

Area, latitude and longitude of the centroid of each CD, and CD header (unique code string that identifies each CD with its aggregate areas)

Summary of functionality

CDATA96 provides extensive functionality including:

  • produce thematic maps which can be viewed on a screen, printed or saved to a file;
  • overlay different levels of base map data at any stage of the mapping process;
  • overlay different boundaries on maps (eg CDs and SLAs);
  • locate geographic areas (eg CDs) or base map details (eg roads) on map displayed;
  • select areas from a point given a select radius;
  • calculate distance;
  • edit and format maps, annotate, change colours, scale, print and export image.

Region definition
  • define a region (eg. a number of CDs, SLAs or a State) by selecting the name or code of SLA, CD etc;
  • define a region based on the radial distance from a geographic reference point;
  • define a region by selecting the areas directly from a map.

Data manipulation
  • select data from more than one table within the same Community Profile;
  • select a table or a number of tables or an entire Community Profile;
  • specify the layout of multidimensional tables;
  • format and print user defined tables;
  • calculate and map intercensal changes;
  • aggregate cells;
  • calculate proportions, percentage distributions, means and medians.

Data Import
  • import data from other sources in proprietary and industry standard formats;
  • import data from non-ABS sources such as your own sales information.

Data Export
  • export data directly to a range of popular applications such as spreadsheets, word processors, database systems etc.

  • produce graphs of data - eg. histograms, pie/bar charts and scatter plots;
  • graph a single area with multiple characteristics and/or a single characteristic for multiple areas.

  • import and link other data files to geographic data.
  • attach data by geocoding to topographic features such as street names.

Improvements on CDATA91

CDATA96 has been significantly improved on the CDATA91 product:

Ease of use

CDATA96 is designed to accommodate both the inexperienced and the sophisticated user. Standard CDATA96 functions such as selecting a table and geographic area, retrieving data, and graphing or mapping the results is available by clicking on an icon, while a Structured Query Language interface allows customisation of tables and extended mathematical and geographical analysis. Many of the functions provided in CDATA91 have been considerably enhanced.

The developed software is intuitive and provide two levels of complexity within the one software which is seamless to the end-user:

1. Quickbuild interface

Macro facilities for basic functions is available by clicking on an icon. This "fast-path" via icons includes:
  • ability to select part or the whole of a Community Profile table with choices of geography prompted by the system,
  • compare the selected data for the selected geography with another geographic region,
  • retrieve selected data for the selected geography in report format,
  • graph the selected data,
  • create thematic maps for the selected data,
  • print part or whole Community Profiles with options in drop down menu,
  • wide range of preferences for customising the system (eg. select map colours, legends, graph types),
  • select different formats for reports such as DXF format,
  • cut and paste data and maps for use in other packages such as Word for Windows,
  • easy storage of files and maps, keep all settings using 'mapspaces'.
These facilities are intuitive and should not require you to refer to the manual.

2. Complex functions for the sophisticated user

More advanced features such as Structured Query Language (SQL) facilities for more complex functions have been enhanced for better performance and ease of use:
  • customising tables and geographic areas,
  • analysing boundaries which intersect, or are within a different boundary level,
  • mathematical functions for calculating totals, distances, areas, centroids etc.

Optional datapaks interface

An interface is available on CDATA96 to ensure that other Community Profiles can be imported and presented, manipulated and mapped in the same way as the Basic and Time Series Profiles on the standard CDATA product. Templates (tables containing cell references only) of the Indigenous, Usual Residents, Expanded and Working Population Community Profiles are included on the second release of CDATA96. Also included on this version is additional boundary files such as Working Population SLAs and Indigenous Location/Region layers.

Conversion of CDATA91 user areas

CDATA96 functionality allows users to convert their
CDATA91 with MapInfo user defined regions to equivalent 1996 areas either automatically, or with an interactive option where the component areas have changed.


CDATA96 is available at National or individual State/Territory level. The CD-ROM contains data, boundaries and base map data for all Australia, which is encrypted. You are able to access the data for the State or Territory purchased using a decryption key.

Data or map?

CDATA96 provides the option to select either data or geography first. It has the ability to produce a table without having to create a map and then run this table for a number of areas.

Data Import

You are able to easily import data from other sources in proprietary and industry standard formats, with the ability to integrate these data with the CDATA interface. These could be other Census data such as other Community Profile data, profiles for customised geographic areas, customised Census matrixes, or data from other ABS collections. You are able to import data from non-ABS sources such as your own sales information.

Data Export

You are able to easily export data directly to a range of popular applications such as spreadsheets, word processors, database systems and other mapping packages.

Geocoding function

You are able to import and link other data files to geographic data, and assign your own geocoded records to Collection Districts. You can attach data by geocoding to topographic features such as street names.

Training, documentation and help facilities

CDATA96 is accompanied by clear and comprehensive documentation, including a User Manual, Tutorials (a quickstart tutorial, on-line tutorial and a full CBT module) and Release Notes. This documentation contains practical detail for users including information on 'shortcuts' available to simplify the program, and provides examples designed to a variety of user needs. There are context-sensitive help for CDATA features and the 1996 Dictionary is also provided as on-line help. Error messaging with correction advice is available via the Help system.