Portal User Guide

Selecting your Area

Selecting an area of inquiry will allow you to discover, extract, analyse and visualise the data that you’re interested in.

After Logging in to the AURIN Portal to the portal, your project will start with Australia selected as your highest level of geography.

From here you can select the levels of geography you are interested in. There are two ways to do this, by clicking either of the options under the Area panel (also shown in image below).

Area Selection

Clicking on the Area Selection option under the Area panel will bring up the Area Selection pop-up box, which gives you two options of choosing your area of enquiry: Select and Search. Each of these is explored below.


The Select area selection method is the default option and will come up when you first start a new project (shown below). In this method, you move further and further down the geographies until you have found your area of inquiry. In the example below, we have moved down the options until we have come to the Melbourne – Inner SA4. You can also interact with the map itself at this stage, clicking on the areas, further breaking them down into their constituent parts. Clicking Done will close the browser and zoom the map to the level of geography that you have selected.


If you just want to find your area of enquiry from a list of geographies, you can use the search button to do this. For example, we have typed Melbourne Inner into the search button box of the area selection browser, and it has come back with all geographies that contain those words. Selecting the entry that you want and clicking Done will close the browser and zoom the map to the level of geography that you have selected.

There are three very important things to remember when selecting your level of geography using the Area Selection browser, and these are related to the concept of geographic aggregation hierarchies upon which most of statistical geographic data and information is based.

  1. It is important that you select an area at a level of geography which is higher or larger than the level of data that you are actually interested in. For example, if you are interested at looking at data at the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) aggregation, you should choose an area which is larger than SA2s – preferably something like SA4s or Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs).
  2. When you select a certain level of geography in the Select or Browse option, this will automatically restrict the levels of geography that you can select below that to those areas and boundaries which fit perfectly into that higher level of geography. For example, if you select States and Territories and then Statistical Area Level 4, this will allow you to only select Statistical Area Level 3 because these are nested perfectly within Statistical Area Level 4. If you select States and Territories and then Local Government Areas (2006), this will allow you to only select either Statistical Local Areas or Collection Districts because these are perfectly nested within Local Government Areas.
  3. Related to this, when you select a certain level of geography, this will automatically restrict the data sources that you can pull in from the Select Your Data browser. For example, if you decide that you are interested in looking at the Melbourne – Inner SA4 area of geography, when you search for data you will only be able to retrieve and view data that is Not Aggregatedor aggregated at SA4, SA3, SA2 or SA1 levels.

Bounding-Box Selection

In addition to the Area Selection option, you can use the bounding box option to specify your area of enquiry.

The advantage to this method is that it does not then restrict the datasets that are available based on geographic hierarchies – every dataset that intersects or is within that box will come up in your Data search when you run it.

To use this method, click on the Bounding Box option under the Area panel. This will ‘activate’ the bounding box so that it has circles on its vertices and edges, which you can drag around and reshape so that it’s where you want it and the size that you want it (shown below).

If you have previously used the bounding box and subsequently moved your map view to an entirely new area, the bounding box will open up to your previous view. If you wish to create a bounding box view of your current view extent, you can do this by clicking on the spanner next to the Bounding-box Selection entry in the Area panel. This will open a menu, in which you can select the Select Current Map View option (shown below). This will open up the bounding box to encompass the area currently viewable in the portal. You can resize and move the bounding box at this to take in your current area.

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