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December 8th, 2012
Draft Australia New Zealand Foundation Spatial Data Framework Announced

Announced publicly at the spatial@gov> conference in Canberra in November 2012, Chair of the Australia New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) Drew Clarke spoke about the vision for a common Foundation Spatial Data Framework across Australia and New Zealand.

The vision for the ANZ Foundation Spatial Data Framework is that the same foundation spatial data will become common place in all sectors of the Australian and New Zealand economies.

‘Foundation spatial data’ describes the basic layers that are needed by users of location-based information. They are the original pieces of spatial information that are created by authoritative sources, like government agencies.

Often, this information is collected for core business purposes by these agencies, and not made available in a consistent way, if at all.

Governments in New Zealand and Australia have realised that this information needs to be more available. By establishing a common framework for how this information is collected, described and released across Australia and New Zealand, ANZLIC is setting a direction for both countries to aspire.

This initiative aligns with other international, parallel strategies underway in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Research conducted by the Australian Office of Spatial Policy in 2011 has shown that this greater level of interoperability across both economies will result in national productivity gains and greater levels of innovation and competitiveness across all areas of government and industry.

New Zealand has actively participated in and supports the initiatives outlined in the ANZLIC Strategic Plan, including the ANZ Foundation Spatial Data Framework.

Representing a separate country with its own issues and opportunities, New Zealand has been able to contribute to the Framework in informative ways, providing an external perspective which complements those of the Australian member jurisdictions.

New Zealand will collaborate and contribute to outcomes that benefit the region as a whole, while recognising instances where we assume a different national position.

New Zealand will develop its complementary versions of the Spatial Data Framework, which suit the New Zealand context but are in line with what our Australian neighbours are doing.

New Zealand is already undertaking national fundamental data work as a result of the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy. For instance, the Geospatial Executives Group has identified imagery, cadastre and road transport as priority data themes.

Additionally, on 12 November 2012, Cabinet agreed to a package of geospatial projects for a Canterbury SDI with one of the projects being a Property Data framework. Work is also being done on guidelines for data stewards and custodians.

A consultation document on the Foundation Spatial Data Framework has been released and is now available.