Posted by Davina Jackson on 9 May 2013

PSMA Australia, a key government-owned company leading the spatial information and land surveying industry, has left the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) to help lead a new geospatial special interest group (GSIG) in the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

SIBA’s national Chair, Gary Nairn, said he was ‘surprised’ to see influential geospatial industry leader Mr Olaf Hedberg and PSMA CEO Dan Paull now listed as members of the AIIA GSIG – some months after PSMA resigned from SIBA in late 2012. Nairn said he would be ‘interested to see’ whether their transfer of support would be confirmed as a leading indicator of widely forecast convergences between the spatial information/land mapping industry (with a strongly local and small business culture) and the ICT sector (dominated by major global corporations from Silicon Valley and Europe).

PSMA originally was named Public Sector Mapping Agencies. In 2001 it was registered as the Commonwealth-owned company which packages and sells digital maps based on  government-held datasets, including census information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Queried about the shift from SIBA to the AIIA, PSMA CEO Dan Paull said ‘we recognise that SIBA is an important part of the geospatial landscape and fulfills an important role of representation of businesses in this sector. However on balance, membership of AIIA provides PSMA far better access to the potential partners and customers that we are seeking and provides a far greater capacity to reach out to organisations not in the traditional geospatial sector.

‘Our decision is not designed to criticise SIBA’s role in any way, simply an acknowledgement of our own changing business needs and focus.’

Paull said the new AIIA geospatial SIG aims to ‘raise awareness of what location information can do for business and where to go to get advice on implementing location-based solutions.’