Posted by Davina Jackson on 1 Feb 2013

Ten new draft themes (categories) for collecting basic data to support the Virtual ANZ vision are not synchronised with the names being used for INSPIRE, the European system to manage spatial data infrastructure.

INSPIRE (Spatial Information Architecture for the European Community) was legislated across 27 European member nations in 2007 – after more than five years of stakeholder consultations and working groups.

Its principles and statements now provide the benchmarking for a global system of national spatial data infrastructures (NSDIs). These are aligned with detailed government data management standards and specifications approved by the Geneva-based International Standards Organization (ISO), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Group on Earth Observations (supervising the Global Earth Observation System of Systems/GEOSS project).

Although the INSPIRE protocols have been widely applauded by ANZ spatial information experts at conferences before and since 2007, they have not been directly adopted yet by ANZLIC, the Spatial Council of national and state government land information leaders.

However, some experts agree that discrepancies across datasets from different parts of the world might be confusing for future users needing seamless comparison and integration across the proposed global spatial data infrastructure (GSDI) system.

ANZLIC  recently launched a new  draft ANZ Foundation Data Framework identifying 10 data themes as a priority to gather in both countries. But only one theme aligns ( by exact name) with any of the 34 themes which underpin the European SDI. ANZ_FoundationSpatialDataFramework_(FinalWeb)

The INSPIRE data themes are divided into three Annexes. The new ANZLIC themes are noted where relevant – but it is too soon to confirm whether the EU and ANZ datasets will be compatible.


—Coordinate reference systems (ANZLIC: Positioning?)

—Geographical grid systems (ANZLIC: Positioning?)

—Geographical names (ANZLIC: Place names?)

—Administrative units (ANZLIC: Administrative boundaries?)

—Addresses (ANZLIC: Geocoded addressing?)

—Cadastral parcels (ANZLIC: Land parcels and property?)

—Transport networks (ANZLIC: Transport?)

—Hydrography (ANZLIC: Water?)

—Protected sites


> Elevation (ANZLIC: Elevation and depth?)

> Land cover (ANZLIC: Land cover)

> Orthoimagery (ANZLIC: Imagery?)

> Geology


> Statistical units

> Buildings

> Soil

> Land use

> Human health and safety

> Utility and government services

> Environmental monitoring facilities

> Production and industrial facilities

> Agricultural and aquaculture facilities

> Population distribution and demography

> Area management/restriction/regulation zones and reporting units

> National risk zones

> Atmospheric conditions

> Meteorological geographical features

> Oceanographic  geographical features

> Sea regions

> Bio-geographical regions

> Habitats and biotopes

> Species distribution

> Energy resources

> Mineral resources

The Group on Earth Observations says it will consider trans-nation dataset title discrepancies via its standards working group.