Portal User Guide

Generate (Spatial)

The Generate (Spatial) tool allows you to manipulate a non-aggregated dataset and create new columns and variables that are the result of combining two other columns by a simple mathematical function – allowing you to calculate proportions, sums, products or differences.

This performs the same operations as the Generate tool but preserves the geometry column, allowing your data to be exported as a Shapefile, CSV or JSON file.

If you would like to perform numeric operations on one column, please refer to the Generate Numeric and Generate Numeric (Spatial) tools.

Set Up

In this two-step worked example, we will first calculate the number and then use that number to generate the proportion of unoccupied private dwellings for Small Areas across Greater Melbourne.

To do this:

  • Select Greater Melbourne (gccsa_2016/2GMEL) as your area
  • Select VIC DELWP – Victoria in Future 2016 – ERP by Household Dwellings (VIFSA) 2011-2031 as your dataset, selecting all variables, and with the following attribute filter:
    • Year: 2021 

Once you have added this dataset, you are ready to use the Generate (Spatial) tool – follow the inputs instructions below to see how to do this.


We are now ready to generate a new column. This is the first step of the process and we will be working out the number of unoccupied dwellings in Greater Melbourne. This will be equivalent to Structural Private Dwellings (SPD) – Occupied Private Dwellings (OPD).

To do this click the Tools button in the Analyse panel (Tools  Data Processing → Generate (Spatial))Enter your parameters as shown in the image below and click the Run Tool button. These parameters are also explained below:

  • Dataset Input: This is the dataset that contains the columns you would like to include in the calculation. Select VIC DELWP – Victoria in Future 2016 – ERP by Household Dwellings (VIFSA) 2011 – 2011
  • Operand 1: This represents the ‘left-hand side’ of the equation. Select Occupied Private Dwellings (OPD) column
  • Operator: This represents the mathematical function that you would like to use to create the new column. In this instance, as we are calculating the difference, select the subtraction function (‘-’).
    • Other operators include:
      • + add
      • – subtract
      • * multiply
      • / divide
      • == is equal to
      • != is not equal to
      • < is less than > is greater than
      • <= is less than or equal to
      • => is greater than or equal to
  • Operand 2: This represents the ‘right-hand side’ of the equation. Select Structural Private Dwellings (SPD) column.
  • New Column Name: This will be the new column in the output table. It is important that you only include letters, numbers and underscores (no spaces or other characters!) in this column. Also, it can only start with a letter – no number at the start! Type unoccupied.

Once you have entered your parameters, click Run Tool.


Once your tool as run, a new dataset will appear in your Data panel named Output: GenerateSpatial MM-DD hh:mm. It might be a good idea to rename it at this point, for example, Unoccupied Dwellings_Number_Output.

If you open the dataset up, you will see the new column that you have created at the right-hand side of the table. In our example here, this represents the number of unoccupied dwellings in Greater Melbourne, based on Victoria in Future Small Areas modelling for the year 2021.

You can now map this output and visualise it by using the Choropleth function in the Visualise pane.

Looking for Spatial Data?

You can browse the AURIN Data Discovery:

How can you Create Impact?

Learn more about AURIN Researcher’s outcomes & real-world impact: