Portal User Guide

Selecting your data

After selecting your area of analysis, you now need to bring some data into your AURIN portal session to visualise, interrogate and analyse.

The Data panel (shown below) provides you with three options for selecting data: Browsing AURIN datasets, Importing your own dataset, and Drawing your own dataset. Each of these will be explained in more detail below, together with information on how to view your datasets and their metadata, as well other data options.

Browse AURIN datasets

The Browse button calls up the Data Browser window, giving users access to the thousands of datasets that are available for their use from the many AURIN data custodians around the country.

The first thing to note is that the number of datasets that are available to you when you open the Data Browser window is restricted by your area selection – the smaller the area that you select, the fewer the datasets that will be available within your session. It is also worth noting that different users have different numbers of datasets available to them based on their role: government and academic users currently are granted permission to some different datasets in the AURIN workbench.

There are many ways that you can filter and search for datasets within the data browser. You can do a Keyword search, limit your search to a specific level of aggregation or granularity, or limit to the organisation/data custodian that you’re interested in.

When you select a dataset (shown below), the dialogue box will then require you to select the attributes you want for the data. You can select all of the attributes by clicking the top left check box next to “Attribute” (in the red box below). Additionally, you may be required to filter some of the specific attributes (in the blue box below). The abstract for your data is provided in the top right of the Data Browser window (green box) as by year of collection or age cohorts.

Once you have selected your dataset and attributes, you can click either Add and keep browsing or Add and go to dataset. The former option will keep your Data Browser open so that you can shop for more datasets, but it will not automatically retrieve your dataset from the custodian/source. You will still need to do this by clicking on the specific dataset entry in the Data panel later. The latter option will close your Data Browser window and automatically retrieve the dataset from the custodian/source.

Importing your own dataset

The Import button allows you to bring your own dataset into the AURIN portal. Clicking it calls the Upload dialogue boxes (shown below).

You will first need to upload either a zipped shapefile (.zip) or a comma-delimited file (.csv), by browsing to the right directory on your computer. Please ensure your filenames do not contain whitespace.

Once the data has uploaded, you will need to name the data and put an abstract (preferably with metadata details), and specify the level of geographic aggregation (Aggregation Level), and the attribute field which identifies each of the geographic units, features, or rows (Key). Once you have added the data that you wish to visualise, click the Add & Display button.

If your data is either a non-spatial table (such as the age group mappings required in the Age Aggregation tool) or a shapefile that doesn’t contain geometries which fall into the standard aggregation hierarchy, select Non Aggregated under Aggregation Level.

Once your data have been successfully uploaded, the table for the dataset will open automatically.

Drawing your own dataset

In addition to bringing in data from the AURIN data sources, or importing your own data, you can also create your own geometry (vector) datasets within your session. These can be useful for example, to create potential point locations where you would like to measure the walkability around. Clicking on the Draw button calls up the geometry toolbar (shown below), which contains a number of features for creating geometry datasets. These are explained underneath the image, left to right.

  • Draw Point: this option allows you to draw different points over your area, such as potential site locations for analysing walkability.
  • Draw Path: this option allows you to draw lines over your area, such as potential road corridors or street networks.
  • Draw Polygon: this option allows you to draw irregular polygons over your area, such as potential catchments or regions which don’t fit within the normal aggregation boundaries.
  • Draw Regular Polygon: this option allows you to draw a regular polygon – either a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon or circle.
  • Draw Circle: this option allows you to draw a circular polygon on the map.
  • Draw Box: this option allows you to draw a rectangle of varying dimension son the map.
  • Modify Geometry: this option allows you to alter the vertices and edges of your polygons to change their shape.
  • Draw Hole: this option allows you to cut a hole out of your polygons, creating “islands and donuts”.
  • Select Geometry: this option allows you to select specific items from the ones that you have created.
  • Drag Geometry: this option allows you to move specific items around on the map.
  • Delete Selected: this option allows you to specific items that you have selected.
  • Delete all Geometries: this option allows you to delete all of the items that you have created.
  • Save Geometries as a dataset: this option allows you to add the dataset that you have created to your Data panel.
  • Close Geometry Editor: this closes the geometry toolbar.

The example below illustrates the Draw Points functionality. Clicking on the Draw Points option allows for the editor to open, at which point you can create a series of points

After you have created the points you wish to insert into your session, if you click the Save geometries as dataset (second from the right) it will give you the option to name your dataset. Give your dataset a sensible name and press OK.

This will add the dataset as an entry in your Data panel. If you then close the Draw toolbar (button on the far right of the toolbar), this will cause the toolbar to close, and for your dataset to ‘disappear’ from the viewer. However, you will note that the dataset still exists in the Data panel. To show these points on your map, click the spanner next to the data entry, and select Display on Map (more on this toolbar in the final section of this page).

If you select the defaults and press Update and Display, your geometry dataset will now appear in your viewer panel, and an entry will appear in the Visualise panel.

Viewing Your Data

Once your dataset has been loaded, it will appear in your Data panel (as shown below).

Clicking on the dataset will open the attribute table as shown below. There are a few features that are worth pointing out when you open up the data table (shown below).

  • You can download the dataset straight away as either a comma-separated (.csv) or javascript open notation format (.json). Non-aggregated datasets and aggregated datasets that have been spatialised can also be downloaded here as shapefiles (.shp). The buttons to do this are shown in the red box above.
  • There is an option to view the columns either with their human-readable Titles (default) or the machine-readable Names.
  • You can sort your columns by clicking on the column name to sort it either Smallest ↔ Largest or A ↔ Z.
  • Additionally, you can see the metadata for the dataset by clicking on the Metadata button, shown in blue box above. This will open up a new window, containing a suite of information about the dataset, its format, its provenance etc. (shown below). You can learn more about it at the Metadata Record Guide.

Data Options

Once your data has been loaded into the Data panel there are some options available to you by clicking on the spanner icon to the right of the dataset. This will bring up a menu looking like the one below. Each of these options is explained further under the image.

  • Open Attribute Table: This brings up the attribute table of the dataset allowing you to browse the data.
  • Rename Dataset: This allows you to provide your data with a new name. This may be important if you have similarly named datasets and wish to be able to distinguish between them.
  • Display on Map: Clicking this will display the dataset on the map. Note that this is not the same as producing a choropleth of the data – it simply brings up the geometries without distinguishing between areas based on values.
  • Zoom to Layer: This will allow you to zoom to the maximum geographic extent of your data in the portal view.
  • Place Bounding Box Here: This will open up the bounding box to have the same spatial extent as the dataset, allowing you to alter the boundaries of that box, and then shop for data in that spatial extent.
  • Edit Attribute Selection: This allows you to add in or subtract certain columns from your dataset, which you may have forgotten, or which you don’t need. This data is then re-retrieved from the data custodian.
  • Reload Dataset: This tool re-retrieves the data from its custodian. This may be important if the data have been updated since you last viewed them, or if you have previously had difficulty contacting and retrieving the data.
  • About this Dataset: This tool allows you to view the metadata associated with the data.
  • Download CSV: This exports the dataset as a Comma-Separated Value file.
  • Download JSON: Like above, this exports the data-set into a JSON structured file.
  • Spatialise Dataset: This will generate geometry for aggregated datasets.
  • Remove Dataset: Clicking this icon will allow you to remove your dataset from your project. It may be necessary to remove the dataset’s “participation” in other components of your project, for example, if you have the data mapped or in an interactive graph.

data citation list

The Download Data Citation List button in the Data pane allows you to obtain a complete list of data references that you can include in the bibliography list of your research.

By clicking the button, your list will automatically download as a .zip compressed folder, which will contain two separate files: a text file (.txt) and a Research Information System file (.ris) which you can easily import to your digital library.


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