Interactive map of ACT Primary Schools

November 7, 2006

I have used Google Maps to make an interactive map that shows all Government Primary schools in the ACT. Also shown are 1.6km radius circles from each school. Schools listed to close under the Towards 2020 plan are represented by a red dot, and red circle. Those remaining open are represented by a blue dot and blue circle. The new P-10 school in West Belconnen (on the site of the old Ginninderra District High) and the proposed P-10 school in Harrison are also shown.

Placing your mouse over a dot will pop up a window identifying the school. If you click on this dot the walking circle will disappear. The controls at the top of the map can turn circles on and off with one click. If you have painstakingly selected or deselected individual schools these buttons will throw away your selections.

These 1.6km radius circles represent the farthest a primary age student can easily walk to school. In fact this is at the edge of what is considered a reasonable walking distance for children of this age.

Examining the map with the closing schools “turned off” the suburbs of Giralang and Weston are particularly badly affected. The relative isolation of Spence is reinforced, and some parts of Melba and also Gilmore will be a long way from a Primary school.

It is also makes you wonder why they chose to close Melrose and not Lyons, as this would have made for a better spread of schools. The same can be said for Isabella Plains and Bonython, though neither would have safe access to alternate schools.

Update: I updated the map to reflect the final decision of the ACT Government. In summary, Mt Rogers, Giralang, Isabella Plains and Gilmore are no longer shown as closing. In addition I have added the P-10 school the Government plans to build on the Kambah High site (to open in 2011). It seems odd to put a P-10 school right next to the existing Urambi Primary.

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6 Responses to “Interactive map of ACT Primary Schools”


  1. […] Using Google Maps you can design your own education system. Did the Stanhope Government get it right or wrong? Would they know if they had? Make your own mind up and decide which schools should stay and which should go. Category: Education Comments: […]

  2. Alex Says:

    Thanks for doing this; fantastic map. Would it be possible to fill the schools with info on numbers, running capacity, and budget? Would make it really good to browse around to see the big vs. small argument.


  3. Alex,

    Yes it would be possible. There were a couple of reasons I didn’t do this initially.

    The first reason was that it was slightly technically challenging, as I didn’t have this data at all integrated, so I’d have to do some sort of pattern matching on the names to get the lat/long data lined up with the other data I have. Or I could do it by hand (yuck!).

    The second reason was one of presentation. I wasn’t sure how I’d fit all this info into a popup. Now that I have become a little more proficient at these things I would probably have a separate “info” box as an overlay and vital stats on the schools could appear in there I guess.

    Another reason (that I’ve just thought about) is that in essence Google Maps is a pretty basic tool for this sort of work. Some sort of GIS is what is required. In fact, there is a mob (that I used to work for) called Prometheus that make this really powerful piece of software for the Health Department called HealthWiz that would be brilliant for looking at this stuff. I guess I thought anything I could do with Google Maps would be fairly ordinary in comparison.

  4. Rachel Says:

    i tried to use the map but it doesn’t have dickson college on it, or the preschools, and still says some of them are closing that aren’t (e.g. giralang). is it really updated?


  5. Rachel,

    The map is Primary schools only.

    When I load it Giralang is now a blue circle and blue dot. If that isn’t the case for you I’d try hitting the refresh/reload button. If this doesn’t work then perhaps you could delete your web browser cache. If that doesn’t work, you may have a web cache that is serving you an old copy, and I can’t help in that case.


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