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Melbourne announces online access to spatial data

Melbourne, Australia: City of Melbourne became the first Australian council to make their spatial data freely available online, as part of an international project to develop the world’s most accurate online map. The council contributed their official local government area base map to the ‘Community Maps Program’ – a global initiative led locally by Esri Australia.

As part of the programme, Melbourne joined major cities including New York and Los Angeles in becoming one of the first in the world to contribute to a new World Topographical Map – which is expected to become the most authoritative online global map ever developed.

Jeremie Comarmond, Business Manager for Melbourne, Esri Australia, said the city set a new Australian standard in government communication through their contribution to the World Topographical Map.

“Citizens around the world are increasingly looking for more transparency from their governments and the City of Melbourne has firmly established itself as a leader in data sharing,” Comarmond stated.

“The City of Melbourne’s involvement with Community Maps has given every ratepayer in Melbourne – and the broader community – with access to authoritative information about the nation’s fastest growing city. People can now freely access Melbourne’s spatial data which includes building sites, parcel boundaries, tree locations and other layers which display the CBD and surrounding areas in a detail never before available to the public online,” Comarmond added.

Comarmond opined that Community Maps offered individuals and organisations distinct advantages over other publically accessible mapping applications. “Other freely available online base maps for Melbourne contain data that can be out-of-date by up to three years,” Comarmond noted.

“City of Melbourne has the capability to provide regular updates from the most recent spatially enabled data available.”

Comarmond said open access to the City of Melbourne’s spatial data enabled users to not only view maps; but also create their own customised maps with unprecedented levels of detail. “Businesses often have maps on their website of their store locations or the areas they service – and previously, they have had to rely on some online base maps that have not been regularly updated or verified,” Comarmond observed.

“This has meant that for many organisations, there have been errors in the directions they’re providing to customers, or the location of their stores – or in some instances in newly developed areas, their street doesn’t even exist on these maps yet.

“With the organisation’s contribution to the Community Maps Project, the city’s people and businesses now have open access to an accurate and verified base map which they know they can trust.”

Source: Esri Australia