Posted by Davina Jackson on 24 Jan 2013

Australia and New Zealand have agreed to assemble compatible systems for gathering and managing datasets needed to develop computer simulation models for both nations.

Foundation data – the official and basic information needed for governments to supervise land areas – will be collected and managed in both countries according to a new draft ‘ANZ Foundation Data Framework’ – prepared by the Australia and New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) with member agencies led by the Australian Government’s Office of Spatial Policy (OSP) and Geoscience Australia. Responses to the public consultation document closed in mid December 2012.

ANZLIC  – recently subtitled The Spatial Information Council (ANZLIC) – involves senior officials from all land information agencies in both countries. They share a vision that foundation spatial data (basic information geotagged with 3-axis location co-ordinates) will become ubiquitous across all sectors of both economies. Foundation datasets would be used by public and private sector organisations – leading to productivity, innovation and competitivity benefits.

To explain ‘why build a Spatial Data Framework’, ANZLIC has emphasised the need for greater accuracies and time efficiencies for recurring users of data – and a need to reduce barriers including prohibitive access fees or licensing conditions or non-standardised information.

The Framework will clarify relevant standards, policies, governance structures, spatial data themes and datasets, organisations and people. It will provide users with one authorative source of best available government foundation data, an authorative base map that can be used in multiple applications by multiple users, ability for users to add or attach spatial details and attributes from their own data and information sources and a reference map for visualising the data in location contexts.

The first 10 data themes to be announced are:

> Geocoded addressing

> Administrative boundaries

> Positioning

> Place names

> Land parcels and property

> Imagery

> Transport

> Water

> Elevation and depth

> Land cover

These themes already are being gathered by agencies led by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and are consistent with some of the major themes already identified in Annexes I and II of Europe’s INSPIRE (spatial data infrastructure) Directive (a legal requirement of EU member countries).

Download the ANZLIC consultation document, including appendices explaining the first 10 data themes: ANZ_FoundationSpatialDataFramework_(FinalWeb)