Datamashup Workshop

Datamashup Workshop

Thanks to the Mix and Mash datamashup competition and the lovely folks at Digital NZ MESA was able to hold a workshop for datamashups and API at Victoria on Friday 2nd September 2011. The speaker was Tim McNamara, a technology analyst and data ninja from Wellington. And a big thanks to CityLink ( for the great wifi and Charities Commission for sponsoring the Beginners’ Guide to Mashups.

PLEASE NOTE: All opinions and views expressed in the material below are those of the author(s) alone and do not represent those of MESA, the MacDiarmid Institute or the Mix and Mash datamashup competition or its sponsors.


What you need for a data mashup:

  • Data! Find your datasets that you want to mashup (see the data sources links below for ideas)
  • Extract the datasets from their source.
  • Mash the sets up together, either via writing your own code, or using a spreadsheet editor like Google Refine (and geocode the points if you need to!)
  • Interpret/analyze the results (try Google Fusion Tables or ggplot2)- remember, the best mashups solve a problem.
  • Stick on some form of UI (User interface) – mapbox is free and fun!
  • Post the mashup online – some free hosting services are listed below
  • Complete the Mix and Mash NZ entry form and make sure you have followed the Mix and Mash rules
  • Win $10 000! – that’s it 🙂

Workshop Slides

Workshop Notes

Workshop Recordings

MixandMash Workshop – Part 1 from Elf Eldridge on Vimeo.

MixandMash Workshop – Part 2 from MESA on Vimeo.

MixandMash Workshop – Part 3 from ENZSN on Vimeo.

Videos within presentation

Visualizing Data Using R and ggplot2

Mashing Government Data

Google Refine

Mapbox’s Tilemill map generation software

TileMill: Open Source Map Design from Development Seed on Vimeo.



Useful Tools

Yahoo Query Language (YQL)
Google Fusion tables
Yahoo Pipes – searches XML tabs and pulls out what you want

Locations to ask for data

Data manipulation resources

Google Refine
r studio
More ggplot2 goodness

Data hosting resources

Code-learning resources
Google Code University
Software Carpentry

Code-hosting resources

Mashup resources

General Datasources
Google Public Data Explorer

NZ Science Datasets

Historical Weather Database
Biodiversity Vegetation
Births per Day 2009/2010
Department of Conservation

Economic Datasets

OECD Patent Database
Monthly Economic Indicators

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