Do I trust journalists? Not a lot. Do I believe in the scientific method? Yes, I do, so I decided to try downloading the census data and see what happened.
I googled "ABS census" and it took me to a likely looking page. I followed the link and registered an account (requiring the usual name, address, phone number, email, password for the account, password recovery question-and-answer). I then got an email to activate the account and request access to the Census Datapacks, so I clicked that link and did that, and got another email saying I now had access. At that point, it is a bit unclear what you do next to actually download the data; there's no link to that in the email. Hmm, what now ... So, I went back to the ABS census web page where I started and looked at it more carefully and noticed a little box that said "Data Packs login" so I logged in with my shiny new username and password and got taken to a page where I am being offered hundreds of zip files for all manner of census data collections. On the right-hand side of that web page it says in big letters "All 2011 Census data now available to download". I downloaded one zip file at random and it seems to contain many spreadsheets. As I have no research experience with working with census data and didn't bother to read any of the fact sheets or other instructions, I cannot say exactly what all the data means. But I think I can say that a person can get themselves started with accessing census data for free in a matter of about 5 minutes based on my own experiment. At no point in this process was there any attempt to coerce me into buying the DVDs, providing a credit card number, or call me a hacker, etc. So, yes, the process could be a little bit better (the "missing link" mentioned above), but truthfully it wasn't very hard to work out. So I think the journalist's story that spawned this discussion is much ado about nothing. The data seems to be there for anyone who wants it and is prepared to invest in a short registration process. So get out there and enjoy all that CC-BY census data. Kerry _______________________________________________ Wikimediaau-l mailing list Wikimediaaufirstname.lastname@example.org https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaau-l