Australia: The Department of Communications has emerged as the closest thing to a winner in the 2014-15 Budget, with a raft of new responsibilities added to its remit. The Government has decided to transfer the functions of the Office of Spatial Policy from the Department of Industry into Communications. It maintains that Department of Communications is a better fit for the spatial data management functions, which can now be leveraged alongside its support for the e-Government agenda and the rollout of the National Broadband Network.
In a different development, Geoscience Australia has announced the release of the Australian Government’s new spatial data catalogue FIND. FIND provides better access to a network of open government data, in conjunction with data.gov.au. The site will replace the ‘aging’ Australian Spatial Data Directory (ASDD) which will be pulled down in August 2014.
The catalogue allows search and download of a wide range of spatially-referenced datasets created by both the Australian and State and Territory Governments. The catalogue will be expanded as new partners come online. Currently, the beta version of the site has been launched and is open for comments and feedback.
Geoscience Australia will be offering data sets and sponsoring a prize for the best science hack – using government data for great scientific outcomes and helping people engage in, understand and use scientific information in their everyday lives.
Source: Geoscience Australia