Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find
Vanessa Scott
Content Manager
Information Victoria
Dept of Innovation, Industry & ...
Victoria Online – 4 new features
• Got a Question?
• Use of Google CSE
• VisualPlace – proof of
concept
• Contacts & Servi...
Victoria Online – www.vic.gov.au
• Provides Victorians with a single entry point to
online Federal, Victorian State and Lo...
Victoria Online – Before
• Typical portal – one-stop shop for government
information
• Over 3,000 links to state, federal ...
Victoria Online – Now
Increase engagement with users:
• Events Calendar – Suggest an
event
• RSS feeds, Twitter
• Info Vic...
Got a Question?
• Launched September 2009
• Citizens can ask questions using their own words
• Immediate answer in most ca...
Got a Question?
• Questions increasing each
month
• Reporting
– Total questions asked
– New answers created
– Answers taug...
Got a Question?
• Technology used – aQtual - http://www.pacsis.com.au/
• Ongoing training
• Email notification of new ques...
Victoria Online – search history
• September 2003 – used proprietary application
integrated with Funnelback. Search result...
Victoria Online – search options
• Purchase new proprietary software – expensive
• Replace search with Google CSE – no fee...
Search – Google CSE
• Introduced December 2009
• No licence or support fees, no bandwidth cost
• Configurable under Google...
Google CSE – Pros & Cons
Pros:
• Better search result
• Google search interface
familiar to end user
• Additional features...
Google CSE – other Vic Govt websites
• www.health.vic.gov.au
• www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
• www.consumer.vic.gov.au
• www...
Search – some quick stats
• 8.9 % of total visitors use site search (Pre Dec 2009, ~ 11.7%) –
Possibly dropped due to ‘Got...
Search – some quick stats
• 8.9 % of total visitors use site search
(Pre Dec 2009, ~ 11.7%)
• Does ‘Got a Question?’ featu...
VisualPlace
• A Proof of Concept mapping tool (January 10 – July 10)
• Demonstrates how mapping applications can support a...
VisualPlace PoC – Primary outcomes
• The delivery of a GIS enabled tool to allow users of VO to map and
visualise governme...
VisualPlace PoC – Secondary outcomes
• To test, develop and identify the priority datasets for any future
production versi...
VisualPlace – data used
• ABS census data – demographics includes education, transport,
households, employment, health
• S...
VisualPlace - Evaluation
• Currently seeking feedback from users
• VisualPlace blog - collects user experiences from a ran...
VisualPlace – user feedback
“I believe that gaming (gambling) and liquor data could and should be made available.
These ar...
VisualPlace - analysis
• Technology used – utilises Microsoft Silverlight
• Surveys
– General – available from VisualPlace...
Contacts & Services Directory
• New online directory (similar to gold.gov.au)
• 4 key areas:
– Departments and Other Bodie...
Contacts & Services Directory
• Technology used is View DS - www.viewds.com
• Approximate matching in directory
• Algorith...
Contact info
Vanessa Scott
Content Manager
eServices, Information Victoria
Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional
D...
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010
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Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010

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Paper presented to the Metadata Australia Conference in Canberra May 2010

Published in: News & Politics
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  • Delivering Government Information to the People
    The Victorian Government has established itself as a leader in delivering government information to citizens. Through Victoria Online, citizens are able to access information on a wide range of government services in an efficient and, most importantly, user-friendly way. There was a lot to consider during the development of Victoria Online and the portal is currently being redeveloped in order to ensure it continues to meet the changing needs of its citizens. This session will explore the journey to Victoria Online and what you can do in your organisation to make information more accessible to consumers and ultimately improve service delivery.
    · Delivering information to consumers – the importance of knowing your audience
    · Determining the right channels for information
    · Reviewing information delivery in order to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the audience
    · The results of reviews of Victoria Online and an outline of future directions
  • Brief statement of Victoria Online purpose
  • Brief statement of Victoria Online purpose
  • Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find: 26 May 2010

    1. 1. Victoria Online: Seek and ye shall find Vanessa Scott Content Manager Information Victoria Dept of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development 26 May 2010
    2. 2. Victoria Online – 4 new features • Got a Question? • Use of Google CSE • VisualPlace – proof of concept • Contacts & Services Directory – COMING SOON
    3. 3. Victoria Online – www.vic.gov.au • Provides Victorians with a single entry point to online Federal, Victorian State and Local Government information and services • Key project of the State Government’s eGovernment policy Putting People at the Centre • Launched September 2003
    4. 4. Victoria Online – Before • Typical portal – one-stop shop for government information • Over 3,000 links to state, federal & local websites • Browse/search options • Metadata informed browse/search • Use of thesaurus
    5. 5. Victoria Online – Now Increase engagement with users: • Events Calendar – Suggest an event • RSS feeds, Twitter • Info Vic Newsletter – subscription • Aggregation of social media • Steady increase in visitors
    6. 6. Got a Question? • Launched September 2009 • Citizens can ask questions using their own words • Immediate answer in most cases • New questions get added to the knowledge repository • Repository of knowledge – built up over time • Used in our state government call centre
    7. 7. Got a Question? • Questions increasing each month • Reporting – Total questions asked – New answers created – Answers taught – Top match answers given – Email responses Month # Questions Sep 09 191 Oct 09 456 Nov 09 751 Dec 09 467 Jan 10 771 Feb 10 863 Mar 10 1,356
    8. 8. Got a Question? • Technology used – aQtual - http://www.pacsis.com.au/ • Ongoing training • Email notification of new questions
    9. 9. Victoria Online – search history • September 2003 – used proprietary application integrated with Funnelback. Search results a combination of +3,000 links and a HCL of these links. Preference given to metadata records. • September 2007 – proprietary application discontinued. Open source product used. Only searched +3,000 links that were catalogued – limited result set
    10. 10. Victoria Online – search options • Purchase new proprietary software – expensive • Replace search with Google CSE – no fees • Use other free search tools available
    11. 11. Search – Google CSE • Introduced December 2009 • No licence or support fees, no bandwidth cost • Configurable under Google account • Unlimited number of sites can be included • Easy implementation
    12. 12. Google CSE – Pros & Cons Pros: • Better search result • Google search interface familiar to end user • Additional features eg. Promotions, autocompletion of queries, etc • Custom Search Blog - http://googlecustomsearc h.blogspot.com/ Cons: • Need to add new domains for inclusion in search • Dead links • Not using thesaurus for search
    13. 13. Google CSE – other Vic Govt websites • www.health.vic.gov.au • www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au • www.consumer.vic.gov.au • www.parkweb.vic.gov.au • www.skills.vic.gov.au • www.rbg.vic.gov.au • www.invest.vic.gov.au • WoVG workshop with web managers from above sites to discuss use of Google CSE – 2 June
    14. 14. Search – some quick stats • 8.9 % of total visitors use site search (Pre Dec 2009, ~ 11.7%) – Possibly dropped due to ‘Got a Question?’ • Average 35,000 unique searches per month (~ 333,000 unique visits to site per month) • Unique searches steadily increased since Dec 2009 • Search exits steadily increased • Popular search terms have not changed much • Ongoing evaluation required – at least 12 months
    15. 15. Search – some quick stats • 8.9 % of total visitors use site search (Pre Dec 2009, ~ 11.7%) • Does ‘Got a Question?’ feature have impact on searching • Average 35,000 unique searches per month (~ 333,000 unique visits to site per month) • Unique searches steadily increased since Dec 2009 • Search exits steadily increased • Popular search terms have not changed much • Ongoing evaluation required – at least 12 months
    16. 16. VisualPlace • A Proof of Concept mapping tool (January 10 – July 10) • Demonstrates how mapping applications can support and develop improved access to government information and services • Delivery of a GIS enabled tool to allow users of VO to map and visualise government data • Provide a user-friendly functionality to non-GIS experts to easily create, analyse and visualise location-based government information, services and data.
    17. 17. VisualPlace PoC – Primary outcomes • The delivery of a GIS enabled tool to allow users of VO to map and visualise government data • To test the appetite for online GIS tool to visualise govt data • To evaluate user feedback to inform potential future releases of GIS enabled tools • To demonstrate the value of GIS enabled tools to both government and users of government information • To recommend the development of full production model
    18. 18. VisualPlace PoC – Secondary outcomes • To test, develop and identify the priority datasets for any future production versions of a service locator type functionality • To develop awareness of the value of GIS-enabled, public facing tools to data owners within government • To encourage data owners within government to release datasets for users of such tools • To encourage VO users to access and manipulate Government information and services.
    19. 19. VisualPlace – data used • ABS census data – demographics includes education, transport, households, employment, health • Services – Health – hospitals, – Education – schools, – Transport – trams, train stations, train lines – Emergency – police, ambulance, fire – Administration • Supplied from various govt departments
    20. 20. VisualPlace - Evaluation • Currently seeking feedback from users • VisualPlace blog - collects user experiences from a range of perspectives such as usability, dataset requirements, functionality etc.
    21. 21. VisualPlace – user feedback “I believe that gaming (gambling) and liquor data could and should be made available. These are two areas that have a major impact on the amenity of communities and have a number of effects in other areas. The data can be used by researchers, the public and even the industry themselves.” “Brilliant. Love to see school zone boundaries on there and perhaps rolling in data from land.vic.gov.au too.” Would expect to be able to forward a URL to someone so they can view the map as “configured”
    22. 22. VisualPlace - analysis • Technology used – utilises Microsoft Silverlight • Surveys – General – available from VisualPlace – Detailed – highlighted dozen people • Feedback from overseas providers who provide similar service • Going forward? Expansion of data sets? • Further information: Simon de Sousa, Project Officer - Simon.de_Sousa@diird.vic.gov.au
    23. 23. Contacts & Services Directory • New online directory (similar to gold.gov.au) • 4 key areas: – Departments and Other Bodies – Parliament of Victoria – Governor of Victoria – Courts & Tribunals • Includes key contacts (eg. MPs, Secretaries, Ombudsmen, etc) • Includes services • Browse and search (including advanced search)
    24. 24. Contacts & Services Directory • Technology used is View DS - www.viewds.com • Approximate matching in directory • Algorithms developed for View500 • Coming soon!
    25. 25. Contact info Vanessa Scott Content Manager eServices, Information Victoria Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development e: vanessa.scott@diird.vic.gov.au p: (03) 9938 0517 Follow InfoVic on Twitter: twitter.com/InfoVic
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