Each night this week I have created a new map using Mesh Block spatial data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Mesh Blocks are the smallest area used when conducting surveys). I am thankful to live in a country that provides a certain amount of open data, and the ABS should be applauded for the amount of data they provide. They provide spatial data about Mesh Blocks, as well as population counts for this spatial data. It is relatively easy to merge the two and then visualise them using TileMill.
First up - population density of Sydney, i.e. persons reported to be living in each mesh block. Darker red indicates a higher population count.
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I find it interesting to see how many people live in certain Mesh Blocks. You will notice that Mesh Blocks with high population levels tend to be nearer public transport - either major roads with frequent bus service, or train stations.
We can look at the urban densities by determining dwellings per hectare, and do this per Mesh Block. The definition I used for urban densities comes from Ann Forsyth in "Measuring Density: Working Definitions for Residential Density and Building Intensity" (pdf). Ann discusses the need to consider net or gross densities, depending on the type of land use. At the Mesh Block level the land use type appears to be singular: Industrial, Parkland, Commercial, Residential, and Transport. Because the land use type was generally singular I have not adjusted to gross/net, but still used Ann's definitions of certain density bands:
- Very low density: 11 dw/ha
- Low density: 11-22 dw/ha
- Medium density: 23-45 dw/ha
- High density: 45 dw/ha
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You can zoom in and scroll over any Mesh Block in Sydney to find out more. Additional installation information on how I did this can be found on this special page: Mapping Mesh Block Data.