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Digital collections catalyst

2021 Catalyst project

The Topography of Searching

What we search for reveals something about ourselves: about what we don’t know, what we have forgotten, or what we want to know more about. In a similar vein, what a group of people search for reveals something about the group. This project takes the search terms used in the State Library of Queensland catalogue to create an interactive landscape based on the language, themes, subjects, and terms involved. This landscape will show where people are searching for similar things, where they are searching for different things, the evergreen topics, as well as the outliers, and the ways in which these shift and change over time, giving a bird’s-eye view of (some of) what is on the minds of those searching the catalogue over a given period.
Topographic map with the words The Topography of Searching

The Topography of Searching was longlisted for the international Information is Beautiful Awards 2022 presented by the Data Visualization Society.

About the 2021 Catalyst: Brett Tweedie

Brett Tweedie

Brett Tweedie is a data visualisation designer with degrees in media and politics, and has been making stuff online since the late 90s.

He was a Google News Lab Fellow (2018), shortlisted for the DX Lab Fellowship at the State Library of NSW (2019) and has produced a range of work for organisations in the GLAM sector, most recently creating We Are What We Steal for the State Library of New South Wales.

He has also worked with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), and media organisations such as the ABC, The Australian Financial Review, The Conversation, and The Guardian.

2020 Catalyst project

Mapping Future Brisbane

As our inaugural Digital collections catalyst in 2020, Dr. Keir Winesmith developed a predictive mapping project to help visualise and analyse evolving Brisbane futures. Mapping Future Brisbane launched with an interactive 3D mapping tool, historical research, and details of the machine learning experiments. Use the interactive tool to create your own vision of Brisbane in 2036 by navigating around the city, changing the population density and adding green space. Then print or share your map of future Brisbane.
Mapping Future Brisbane - finished map example

About the Catalyst initiative

The Digital collections catalyst initiative aims to attract developers and creatives to support innovative and creative uses of our digital collections and collections data. We are interested in highly creative and experimental ideas that bring together technology with cultural heritage to inspire Queenslanders through State Library collections. For more information, email
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