NZ keen to harness potential of location-based info

NZ keen to harness potential of location-based info


New Zealand: People in New Zealand will soon benefit from more open and accessible geospatial information on their communities and environment, according to Maurice Williamson, Land Information Minister.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), through the New Zealand Geospatial Office (NZGO), will lead the development of a national framework – a spatial data infrastructure – that connects people and users of location-based or geospatial information.

Often geospatial information is collected multiple times by different agencies and organisations and in different formats, meaning data is not compatible with other data and its potential use is limited.

By establishing a spatial data infrastructure, information will be more easily available and government agencies will have better access to the information, be able to extract better value from their own data and find and access previously inaccessible data.

Human activity depends on location-based information, that is: knowing where things are. People will be able to use the information like a virtual infrastructure.

Once developed, a spatial data infrastructure will create several benefits to the New Zealand public including a more accessible, accountable government and better support for community planning and development.

Some examples of linked geospatial data include the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s FarmsOnline project and the Ministry for the Environment’s Land Use and Carbon Analysis System.

The economic benefits of geospatial information were documented in a 2009 report, which estimates that geospatial information contributed about 1.2 billion dollars to the New Zealand’s economy in 2008.