1003.0 - LEP Newsletter (Issue No. 43), Feb 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2003   
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I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I had a good break in New Zealand, visiting friends and family - although two weeks is never enough. 2002 was a good year with a lot accomplished and I thank my team for that - 2003 looks as if it will be just as busy with a stronger focus on Website useability, continued improvement of services along with some innovative developments planned. Something to look forward to!

As I reported in the last LEP Newsletter an enhanced AusStats design was released on 19th November. This design underpins the Website, so many of the enhancements affect the Web. All the design changes are based on user feedback.

They include:

    • Changing the term 'Companion Data' to 'Data Cubes'
    • Separating Basic Community Profiles (BCPs) by the type of geographic classification
    • Changing Document Type for Census 1996 BCPs to include the year '1996'
    • Ensuring that the Census maps correctly link to the Census Snapshots
    • Providing links to related views of the same content

The changes were timed to coincide with the second release of Census data. This provided more detailed information in the form of Basic Community Profiles, Indigenous Profiles, Census Snapshots and Classification Counts. Further information can be found at www.abs.gov.au/census.

In December, the ABS put up Excel-format time series spreadsheets on the ABS Website for user evaluation and comment. The new format is designed to alleviate many of the problems with the existing AusStats spreadsheets. Key improvements include: time as rows, rather than columns; Excel format, rather than WKS format; adding relevant metadata; and links to the ABS Website. The feedback to date has been positive and it is expected that the new format outputs will be in production by March 2003.

Work has been progressing on finding a new Search Engine for the ABS Website. The results of the pilot have been very encouraging and an implementation plan is being developed - targeted for April 2003.

On Friday 24th January, Year Book Australia 2003 was launched. As with previous years, the Year Book content is freely available within Australia Now on the ABS Website. The Year Book Australia 2002 contents within Australia Now attracted 3.8 million hits for the year. The Year Book is distributed in hardcopy, CD-ROM and on the Web.

As usual if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email gary.dunnet@abs.gov.au.