Digital Collections Catalyst in Residence

Dr. Keir Winesmith was the Digital Collections Catalyst for 2020

Dr. Keir Winesmith worked with State Library to develop 'Mapping Future Brisbane' - an interactive 3D mapping tool, historical research, and details of his machine learning experiments - that allow users to see Brisbane's past and experiment with how Brisbane could change into the future.


Final project launch

Mapping Future Brisbane

Mapping Future Brisbane launched with Dr. Keir Winesmith’s interactive 3D mapping tool, historical research, and details of his machine learning experiments (including open access to the full models).

You can 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. You can then print or share your map of future Brisbane.

Updates from the Digital Collections Catalyst

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After first spending time walking around the city, Keir began his research into post-colonial Brisbane’s urban story by looking at hundreds (maybe thousands) of maps. In this post, he discusses his findings from that research and analyses Brisbane’s patterns of mapping, new development and urban renewal.

Map of Brisbane and suburbs 1912

Keir talked to the people of Brisbane, including urban designers, place-making experts, historians, artists, and academics. In this post, Keir discusses those conversations, the results of the project survey, and his plan for an interactive web interface to explore the maps of Brisbane’s history and create your own future vision for Brisbane.

About the project: Mapping future Brisbane

As our inaugural Digital Collections Catalyst, Keir Winesmith developed a predictive mapping project to help visualise and analyse evolving Brisbane futures. An interactive online tool was created for users to experiment with how different planning priorities lead to different Brisbane futures. The digital experience is powered by a machine learning model that is trained on State Library maps and collections.

Watch the video for more information.

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About the 2020 Digital Collections Catalyst

Dr. Keir Winesmith has been working at the intersection of digital, culture and place for the last two decades. He has created or collaborated on immersive and interactive cultural experiences in Australia, the U.S. and Europe, and in 2018 was named in Fast Company's '100 Most Creative in Business' for his work in this area. He currently leads a small strategic design agency and is an Adjunct Professor at UNSW Art & Design.

Winesmith previously led the digital departments of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and in March 2020 published the book 'The Digital Future of Museums: Conversation and Provocations' with Dr. Suse Anderson.

Dr. Winesmith holds a Ph.D. in New Media, degrees in Computer Science and Physics. Keir, and his work, have been featured in the ABC, BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, Radio NZ, WIRED magazine and many others.

About the residency

The Digital Collections Catalyst in Residence 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