Atlas of Living Australia visits Questacon

21 April, 2013
John La Salle shows a young student some of the features of the Atlas

QLab is a dynamic and experimental environment within the fabulous Questacon Science Centre in Canberra. It not only allows you to ask questions and find your own answers, it is constantly evolving to keep up-to-date with the scientific world (taken from the QLab website). On April 15 and 16, the Atlas Director, John La Salle was asked by the QLab staff to show Questacon visitors the many different uses of the Atlas in a fun, exciting and interesting way. John was up for the challenge. All he needed was a computer and a data projector and he was ready to demonstrate the many abilities and features the Atlas has to offer, to all those who came along.

School children, parents  and the general public alike could look up the known species which have been identified in there street, suburb or town. They were also able to search for those plants and animals that they have always wanted to identify in their neighbourhood. This is made possible as the Atlas has now aggregated over 39 millions records on where species live in Australia from many different collections (particularly Australia’s Museums and Herberia) as well as a rich range of photographs. 
The two days at Questacon were a great way to show that the Atlas of Living Australia website isn’t just for researchers and government organisations but that even school kids can get in on the action and learn to use one of Australia’s biggest data portals for biodiversity. John said that he is always pleased to see that the Atlas name is reaching a different audience and getting even more community engagement amongst school kids, their parents and those who just happened to be visiting Questacon. Many visitors who came along to learn about the Atlas said they would definitely be going home to have more of a play on the website -
Have any questions about how to use the Atlas feel free to email our team at or if you want the Atlas team to give demonstrations at your workplace or to your community organisation you can contact us at



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