Open Data and Australian history: exploring 10,000+ photos and maps of Queensland from 1791 to 2004

Open Data and Australian history: exploring 10,000+ photos and maps of Queensland from 1791 to 2004

We came across a few very interesting data sets recently, and quite different to what is typically found on open data catalogues: thousands of photographs of Queenslanders across time and geography as well as 250+ historical maps of Australia dating from 1552 to 1950.

These data sets have been published by the State Library of Queensland and are available for download as CSV files on and

These data sets include geocoded pictures as well as contextual description, and therefore we thought we’d bring them to life and load them onto our open data platform to allow users to navigate and enjoy the wealth of information and multimedia content embedded in those digital archives.

Each file can be explored either through an image gallery or a map. We provide at the end of this post instructions regarding how to navigate. Content can be accessed by using the links below:

Instructions – navigation using image gallery:

  • When accessing the file, click on the ‘images’ tab, as highlighted in green (1) in the screenshot below
  • Click on any thumbnail to display content (e.g. description, link to high definition image, date etc.) associated with each photo
  • Content can be filtered by date and/or keyword using the pane on the left hand side of the screen (2 – highlighted orange). For example, on the image below, we are displaying 42 photos matching the keyword ‘Gallipoli’. To disable filter, click on the cross next to the keyword, or re-click on the date used as filter


Navigation using map:

  • When accessing the file, click on the map tab
  • Click on each dot on the map to display a ‘tool tip’ with description, thumbnail, link to high definition image etc.
  • Content can be filtered using date and/or keyword as described above for image gallery navigation
  • Content can also be filtered by using zoom features of the map (1 – highlighted green below)


We hope you enjoy exploring Queensland through history as much as we did !! Don’t hesitate to post comments and let us know which interesting discoveries you’ve made.

Published by Alex for Peclet Technology Pty. Ltd. Peclet provides a turnkey open data platform (OpenDataSoft) for organisations to share their data. For more information please visit