On Thursday, 14 August 2014 the Gauteng City-Region Observatory held an event at WITS for the launch of their Quality of Life Survey. This is a survey conducted in Gauteng during 2013 regarding civil issues as well as general public satisfaction levels. The GCRO Survey Launch, held at the Wits was attended by the media as well as local dignitaries; the Premier of Gauteng, Hon David Mathura and Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Cllr Parks Tau, acting in his capacity as Chair of SALGA Gauteng.
The launch also marked an important occasion for the Wits Digital Arts Division, as it served to the display of the first collaboration work between the GCRO and students of the 4th Year and Honors Digital Arts Interactive Media class (headed by Tegan Bristow). As a final exam project of this 1st semester course, which focuses on data art and creative coding, students were asked to create interactive data visualizations for the GCRO Quality of Life Survey, to represent the data in an relatable, visual and interactive way. Impressed by the dynamism and creative quality of results, six top student works were chosen by the GCRO to be displayed for the official launch of the Quality of Life Survey. These students were: Johara Mansura, Riccardo Taglliati, Jayson Junkoon, Michelle McDulling, Katherine Donald and Louwrens Ferrieria.
At the launch the survey was presented both through comparative presentations representing the last three surveys (2009, 2011 and 2013) by the GCRO, which was complimented by an exhibition of the students data visualisations on touch screens, allowing attendees to engage personally and interactively with creative data visualisations.
To continue this collaboration, the Interactive visualisations will be available on the GCRO website later on in the year and the 2015 Data Art class will continue to work with this extensive body of data from the GCRO.