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The Startup SEQ Map

The Startup SEQ Transit Map

Due to numerous requests, we’ve been working on a little startup transit map of south-east Queensland for the last few weeks. It’s rough. It’s incomplete. It probably contains out of date and incorrect information. On top of that, the idea is a total rip off of the iA Web Trend map and Blue Chill’s Sydney StartRail map. But we thought it was an interesting idea, so we did it anyway!

Startup SEQ Map

The Startup SEQ so far. Please contribute to the map by forking the project on Github.

We’ve taken a slightly different tack to some other transit-style maps out there, choosing to make it interactive and HTML/Javascript-based rather than image-based. The source code for the map is on Github, which means, dear readers, that when you find something to add, edit, or remove (and trust us, you will find stuff), you can simply fork the project, create a branch with a descriptive name, make your changes, and submit a pull request (that is, the usual approach for contributing to an open source project hosted on Github). In general, the only thing you’ll need to update is the HTML file, which describes the map layout. We’ll endeavour to include your changes as soon as possible. If you do find something to fix, regardless of whether you’ll fix it yourself, please submit an issue on Github.

There are plenty of things to improve, and lots of debates to be had about what’s in and what’s not. Maybe not all the companies on the map are startups (remember, startup != SME; startup = growth). Including events and meetups could open a can of worms, so that might need revisiting down the track. Here’s some things we’ve identified that need doing in the short term.

  • The map needs a title.
  • The tool tips currently only show the name of the startup/organisation. That could potentially be populated with other information.
  • Clicking a “station” label should take you to the relevant web site.
  • The positioning and ordering of stations/lines could be improved (but you’ll notice growth stage funding is up and to the right).
  • Related to the last one, we need to think further about how to represent situations where a startup has tight links to more than one “infrastructure” node. For example, Cohortpay lives at River City Labs and is also funded by Transition Level Investments.
  • The whole thing probably needs to be resized or made “responsive”.
  • The rendering code is a bit buggy at the moment: the nice curves don’t work for some directions (we’re fiddling with this now).
  • Where do initiatives like Budding Entrepreneurs fit into this?
  • Include more startups, especially the ones we’ve missed on the Sunshine/Gold Coasts.
  • PDF/JPG export.

We thought it would be best to get the map out there in the true spirit of release early/release often, and let the community evolve it. We’ll certainly continue to update it over time.

TSJ would like to thank Peta Ellis at River City Labs and Leigh Angus at iLab for helping us collate the data for the map. Thanks also to Scott de Jonge who got the map started for us using Nik Kalyani‘s excellent subwayMap jQuery plugin. Unless otherwise specified in a particular file, the source code is released under a liberal open source license (MIT License). Any graphics files generated from the map are subject to the same Creative Commons license that applies to the rest of our content.

In parallel with the transit map, TSJ will also begin populating a directory and geographical map for tech-related organisations. If you feel so inclined, you can add your organisation’s details here.

Get in touch if you have any difficulties with the transit map or the directory.

About Ricky Robinson

When he's not writing for The Tech Street Journal, Ricky's working at NICTA, Australia’s ICT Centre of Excellence, where he performs a mix of industry engagement, research and, of course, software engineering. Ricky holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Queensland and spent some time in Mountain View, California, at Sun Microsystems Research Labs. Ricky's the prime instigator of TSJ.