Day 3 of the Dashboard Challenge was an exciting day for all the participants as we were given a new task to work on. The task was to create a dashboard using spatial data about the city of Melbourne, and the story we wanted to tell was of our own choosing. As someone who loves exploring the green and leafy suburbs of Melbourne, I decided to use tree canopies as my focus, and I was keen to find out which suburb had the most trees.

The first step in the process was to clean the data. I downloaded the data from the provided website and used Alteryx to help me with data prep. The data provided details about the types of trees and their latitude and longitude within the city of Melbourne. However, it did not include information about which suburb they belonged to. To solve this issue, I found a shapefile containing the boundaries of all the suburbs in Melbourne and used the spatial match function to join the two datasets. After cleaning the data, I outputted it as a Hyper file, ready for visualization on Tableau.

As I started by creating a map that showed the tree canopy coverage across the different suburbs of Melbourne, to my surprise, Parkville was the suburb with the highest tree cover! This led me to do some research and I discovered that in 1998, Parkville had been the site of a large tree planting initiative.

Using this information, I created a dashboard that told the story of Parkville’s transformation from a relatively barren suburb to one with abundant tree cover. The dashboard featured a map of the suburb with the tree canopy coverage highlighted, as well as a timeline that showed the progress of the tree planting initiative over the years.

I also included some additional visualizations that showed the types of trees that were planted in Parkville, as well as the impact that the tree planting initiative had on the local community. For example, I found that the increased tree cover had led to a reduction in air pollution and an improvement in local air quality. Here is a snapshot of my Dashboard:

Overall, I found the project to be a fascinating exploration of Melbourne’s green spaces. Through the use of spatial data and visualization tools, I was able to uncover interesting insights about the city’s tree canopy coverage and tell a compelling story about the transformation of one of its suburbs. I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of data visualization in the coming days of the Dashboard Challenge.

The Data School
Author: The Data School