Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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NSW Baby Names Explorer goes live

August 19th, 2008 by Seb Chan

It has been quite a long time coming but finally our NSW Baby Names Explorer has gone live as part of the relaunched NSW Government portal. This is the first publicly visible application developed out of a cross-government project that parts of the Powerhouse team are working on.

The application was built in Adobe Flex to work with any data set (death name explorer, anyone?). It required significant data wrangling as the source data was extracted from different databases and provided to us by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Whilst we had data going right back to European settlement in 1788 the decision was made to launch with data only back to 1900 for performance and quality reasons. Additional data and a lot more functionality will be added over time.

Prior to this application, which is currently quite similar to others in the USA, baby name popularity in NSW was only available for the past 10 years in a very basic list form on the Births, Deaths and Marriages website.

There was some quite amusing newspaper coverage this morning.

Other parts of this cross-government project will go live later in the year . . .

Tags: 2 Comments

  • Hey Seb

    Just wanted to say that I – and a lot of people I’ve shared this with – have found this site incredibly sticky.

    Sadly, I couldn’t find any Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’s in the data ….

  • Wow – you can track popular culture with this. Try “Mandy” (Barry Mallilow), or “Jasmine (The Lion King). It’s amazing to see a name come out of nowhere (and disappear again)!