NSW govt launches geospatial data strategy

New 'location intelligence' strategy includes push for more geospatial data to be linked to government datasets

The New South Wales government has launched a new strategy to encourage the use by the public and private sectors of geospatial datasets created by government agencies.

The five-pronged NSW Location Intelligence Strategy (PDF) aims to promote the creation and use of geospatial data, including by adding location information to key NSW economic, social and environmental datasets.

"At present, the benefits of location intelligence are not being fully realised across NSW," the document states.

"Government datasets that incorporate location-based information cannot be easily accessed and analysed with reliability across NSW Government agencies. There remains too much duplication of effort collecting similar data, too little reuse and too few linkages across key datasets which is costly and inefficient.

"The NSW Location Intelligence Strategy seeks to directly address these challenges by establishing a coordinated and strategic approach to realising the benefits of location intelligence for NSW Government, industry and the community."

The strategic initiatives in the strategy include developing a framework for coordination across agencies that create location data, creating standards and processes for collecting and accessing geospatial data, adding more location data to key government datasets, and identify online platforms that can be used to support use of geospatial data.

A Location Leadership Group will oversee the implementation of the strategy. In addition a Location Intelligence Industry Advisory Committee drawn from the community and private sector will be established.

"Agencies right across government already collect a wide range of spatial information from residents, businesses and industry, and this new strategy means that there is now a coordinated and consistent approach to how this data is used," NSW finance minister, Dominic Perrottet, said in a statement.

"Already we've seen instances of location intelligence at work. In October, the Land and Property Information division overlayed their data to the latest satellite imagery to assist emergency services in their firefighting and recovery efforts during the Blue Mountains bushfire crisis."

Earlier this year Land and Property Information launched a new initiative that lets users explore NSW government geospatial datasets from within Google Earth. LPI's "NSW Globe" project lets users enable information overlays within Google Earth.

The NSW government in November announced a policy of "open by default" for data created and collected by agencies. The NSW Government Open Data Policy states that government agencies should "start from a position of data openness, with the prerogative in favour of data release".