The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure

The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure

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Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly
Executive Director, ANZLIC-the Spatial Information Council for australia and new zealand
CANBERRA, australia
[email protected]
The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) concept has been around for some time. It is viewed by both the public and private sectors as providing a sustainable mechanism for linking spatial information users and providers

The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) concept has been around for some time. It is viewed by both the public and private sectors as providing a sustainable mechanism for linking spatial information users and providers. The ASDI concept was established in 1996 and has been advanced considerably since that time. Relationships amongst government jurisdictions and between the public and private sectors have been clarified and promulgated through the Spatial Information Industry Action Agenda that was published in 2001. Rapid advances in online technologies are now enabling the ASDI implementation to be decentralised.

ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council for Australia and New Zealand – has facilitated the evolving debate about what the ASDI might become and how its development might overcome institutional, policy and technological barriers to meet the needs of existing and potential users of spatial information services. A detailed set of goals, objectives and deliverables has been defined by ANZLIC to accelerate the implementation of the ASDI. Active participation and cooperation of all economic sectors, governments and user communities is needed now to unlock the great potential offered by the ASDI.

A National Initiative
ANZLIC is the peak intergovernmental spatial information council for Australia and New Zealand, comprising senior officials from the Australian and New Zealand Governments and the governments of the eight Australian States and Territories.

The ASDI vision is to ensure Australia’s spatially referenced data, products and services are available and accessible to all users. It is similar in concept to national SDI initiatives taking place in the United States of America, Canada, Europe and many other nations. In time it could well be a part of a global spatial data infrastructure, a concept that some forty nations are considering collectively. All Australian government jurisdictions are involved in the ASDI because they recognise that their common needs are best addressed through the cooperative approach that is fundamental to the ASDI.

The ASDI has been developed around common data access policies and procedures (such as custodianship, privacy and access principles), international best practice in data management (such as the use of metadata) and by targeted activities by ANZLIC members. The most important of these activities so far has been the Australian Spatial Data Directory (ASDD) which has been available since 1999. All ANZLIC jurisdictions have cooperated to develop the ASDD by funding local nodes of this national catalogue, collectively containing over 30,000 metadata records.