LINZ Data Service FAQs
- What is the LINZ Data Service?
The LINZ Data Service provides free, web-based access to LINZ datasets, which comply with the range of open access standards associated with the developing New Zealand Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). LINZ has designed the LINZ Data Service based on this guidance and through testing with a group of potential customers.
Key features of the service are:
- Access of up to 3GB for over 2000 layers of topographic, hydrographic, geodetic, cadastral and title data via the web interface.
- Additional access to the data via web mapping service (WMS), web feature service (WFS) and API.
- Supporting information about the data; ANZLIC compliant metadata, data model guides, a discussion forum and a feedback function.
- Optional courier delivery of data packages above 3GB (fee charged).
- Why has the LINZ Data Service been established?
The service is a result of the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy. A report on spatial information in the New Zealand economy showed there are barriers to the use and reuse of New Zealand’s geospatial data, preventing an estimated $1.2 billion in economic growth. For every dollar invested in overcoming these barriers there would also be an estimated return of at least five to one. Because LINZ holds nationally significant geospatial data and is leading the implementation of the geospatial strategy, LINZ is committed to improving the discoverability and access of its own data.
- What information can I get from the LINZ Data Service?
The service provides access to complete layers of 1:50,000 topographical map data, hydrographic electronic chart data, and a selection of geodetic, survey and titles data from Landonline. Find out more about LINZ Data Service datasets.
- Are there plans to develop the LINZ Data Service?
- Yes. The approach is to establish the first version of the service and then develop it to match what customers need. LINZ has funded the ongoing development with a quarterly review process that considers all the feedback received and other monitoring. Find out more about future plans for the LINZ Data Service.
- How is the LINZ Data Service funded?
LINZ has internally reprioritised funding to deliver the LINZ Data Service as a free service, except for the courier delivery of larger data packages. This helps to remove cost as a barrier to data access. Additionally, as the customer numbers and use of the LINZ Data Service is not known, or able to be suitably estimated, it is not sensible to determine a transaction cost or fee structure. This is in line with the fees and charges regulations that LINZ operates under and will be reviewed as part of the development of the LINZ Data service.
- How do I get access to the LINZ Data Service?
The LINZ Data Service is available for anyone to browse public data layers, the associated metadata, reference material or site information. However if you want to download data, use the API or web services then there is a simple self registration process.
- What do I need to use the information from the LINZ Data Service?
- You will need to have a system platform that allows you to run GIS software such as that supplied by ESRI or the Open Source GIS community. You will also need appropriate internet capacity for downloading and using large data files such as KML streaming services, Web Mapping Service or Web Feature Service.
- Why does the LINZ Data Service use multiple click boxes when I use the service?
LINZ has had to establish ways to allow free access to data while ensuring any risks to the government are covered. This includes asking customers:
- to accept the Creative Commons licence and other terms applied to the majority of data layers to clarify any issues about use of the data and establish a link with the customers should an issue develop around that data, such as if we find a fault or publish updated data
- who want titles data with people's names in it to register and accept those terms so we cover off the requirement that LINZ can ask for that data to be retrieved if LINZ is ordered by the courts to withdraw a name
- to register for and accept API or web services so that LINZ can ensure that data terms and customer relationship issues are managed in the machine to machine environment.
- What licensing does the LINZ Data Service have?
- Access to the data is provided under a Creative Commons license. A notable exception is title owner information which has a customised license.
- Who do I contact if I have problems downloading data?
- Contact LINZ Customer Support on 0800 665 463 or at email@example.com.
- Where can I find support information for the LINZ Data Service system?
- What layers of geodetic data are available in the LINZ Data Service?
- Find general information about the geodetic datasets available as well as more detailed notes.
- Why isn't the road in the topographic data in the same place as the road parcel in the cadastre?
- The road on the Topo50 map and data represents the physical feature; the cadastral road parcel has commonly been created to enable the location of official road names. Usually roads are built within the cadastral parcel, but not always. In some cases, where the difference is small, it may be attributable to the accuracy of either the cadastral or topographic mapping. Refer to How accurate is the topographic data?
- Why isn't all LINZ data on the LINZ Data Service?
- Answer The LINZ Data Service was established quickly, aiming to achieve a huge, but not final, improvement in access to LINZ data. We have included the datasets that are able to be published and will look to include others in future developments. Datasets generally weren’t included because:
- The dataset isn’t maintained in a digital format that can export to a modern GIS system. The LINZ New Zealand Gazetteer and bathymetric data are examples of this.
- The dataset isn’t spatial in nature; either tables or "dumb" raster images. The remaining tables from the Landonline extract, the hydrographic charts and aerial photographs are examples of this.
- LINZ doesn’t have the required rights to publish dataset. The electoral meshblocks and Kiwi image are examples of this.
- Where can I find information on the topographic data?
- Information can be found on the Topo50 and Topo250 web pages.
- Are the roads and tracks in the topographic data indicative of public right of access?
- No. Representation in the topographic data of a road or track does not necessarily indicate public right of access. Topographic data and maps are designed to show only the physical features (ie not legal) on the land. This includes both private and public roads.
- How can I tell if the topographic data is current?
LINZ welcomes feedback about areas that have changed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 665 463.
- How accurate is the topographic data?
- For the Topo50 data, 90% of well-defined topographic features have a planimetric (x,y) accuracy of +/- 22 metres and a vertical (z) accuracy of within +/-10 metres. Over the last few years LINZ data maintenance has been undertaken using imagery with accuracy in the order of +/- 6 metres. This means that sheets maintained from this imagery will be a lot better than 22 metres, however +/-22 metres is LINZ's official spatial accuracy.
For the Topo250 data, 90% of well-defined topographic features have a planimetric (x,y) accuracy of +/- 150 metres and a vertical (z) accuracy of within +/- 50 metres.
- Why is there a difference between the topographic data and what I can see on other aerial imagery I have?
If the differences are small, then it could be the result of the generalisation techniques used when capturing the data. At 1:50,000 scale, not all features can be shown (eg, if there is a group of 5 or 6 buildings in close proximity, only 2 or 3 may be shown). Also, where features are very close together (eg, a road, railway line and coastline) they may be separated slightly to enable each to be clearly visible on the printed map.
- What hydrographic data is currently available from the LINZ Data Service?
- The following hydrographic / maritime data is availble from LINZ Data Services:
- Data based on official Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) published by the New Zealand Hydrographic Authority Prior to loading onto this service, the S-57 data from these ENCs is converted to shapefile format.
- Digital maritime boundry definitions for New Zealand.
- Where can I obtain official Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs)?
- For navigation, mariners should use official New Zealand ENCs as available from chart retailers.
- Can data from the LINZ Data Service be used instead of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) for navigation?
No. This data:
- does not replace official ENCs
- should not be used for navigation
- is not corrected for Notices to Mariners.
- Where can I find more information about feature and attribute codes used in the hydrographic data?
- Feature and attribute codes used are based on the IHO S-57 standard. Links to these documents are available from Hydrographic Standards and Regulations.
- Why is continuous coverage of hydrographic data not available at some scales?
- Coverage of data is limited to the extent of current published Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs). Further data will be published on the LINZ Data Service as new ENCs are released.
- What horizontal datum is used for the hydrographic data?
- World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84).
- What sounding datum is used for the hydrographic data?
- Where do I find more information on geodetic data found in the LINZ Data Service?
See the geodetic system section of this website for full and comprehensive information on geodetic data, datums and coorodinate conversions.
- Why is Antarctic data included in a separate layer?
- The Antarctic data is referenced in terms of Ross Sea Region Geodetic Datum 2000 (RSRGD2000) which covers the extent of the Ross Sea Region in Antarctica. The NZGD2000, which is the datum for the majority of geodetic data, only covers mainland New Zealand and off-shore islands.
- What is the difference between the 'geodetic marks' and 'geodetic vertical marks' layers?
- The geodetic marks layer includes information about all geodetic marks in the region, whereas the vertical marks layer includes information about all geodetic marks that have heights in terms of a local mean sea level datum.
- What is the geodetic survey control marks layer used for?
- This layer includes the geodetic marks which have been broken down into principle control networks. Each of these classifications has governing standards which make marks within these networks fit for a particular purpose. See survey control networks for more information.
- Does the LINZ Data Service have orthometric heights?
The Antarctic geodetic vertical marks and geodetic vertical marks layers contain information for all geodetic database marks that have orthometric heights.
The geodetic database also contains a large number of marks that only have ellipsoidal heights. These heights can be converted to orthometric heights using NZGeoid09 and the online coordinate conversion application. In the future, LINZ will automatically include these calculated orthometric heights in the vertical marks layers.
- Why is the data different to the original Bulk Data Extract or Landonline?
Firstly, some data in Landonline is not spatial;it obtains its ability to be represented spatially by linking to Landonline data that is spatial, such as parcels. Therefore data like appellations and titles utilise parcel objects. As part of undertaking this linking, the links were formatted and inserted as if that data existed in the original table. Examples include adding title references into the parcel table and creating title objects from the parcels.
Secondly, the Bulk data extract contains over 100 tables of linked data (it is highly normalised). This is consequently difficult to use on a day-to-day basis and requires extensive processing or knowledge to join it all together. Data was therefore aggregated to enable layers to stand on their own right. An example is the individual fields of an appellation which have been merged together and inserted into the parcels datasets.
Thirdly, some tables contain all the similar data, yet common usage (and even initial capture) deals with them separately, especially when quick maps are created using these layers as a basemap. An example is parcels; the primary parcels are separated from non-primary parcels (easements, covenants, etc), strata and linear parcels.
Fourthly, the intent of the data is to make available current data. Landonline retains almost all records and when they are superseded, marked historic or similar. Likewise as data is entered it will have a status of pending or similar. This data is not yet approved for release, so although it is in Landonline, it is not made available. Landonline also contains private information relating to workflow and system users. This is not public information and hence not released.
- Why are there several different parcel layers?
Firstly, topologically some parcels are different. With parcels such as those defined by a line (eg a centreline easement) and parcels defined by a polygon, some GIS systems are unable to hold these in the same layer. Further, strata parcels hold many primary rights and yet to place them in the same layer as other primary parcels can generate topological issues. For this reason they are held separately.
Secondly, the parcels data is commonly used for base mapping and many users require a separation by type. For example, some users may wish to exclude roads so that a road centreline layer can be easily distinguished, or separate the hydro parcels so they can be coloured blue, etc. Although most GIS packages can undertake these separation processes on the fly, they can be processing intensive (especially with a national dataset). They have therefore been created to provide a quick start point for users.
Common combinations are expected to be:
- road, hydro, and land parcels, instead of using the primary parcels.
- primary parcels, non-primary parcels, strata and linear parcels to create all parcels.
- Why are layers with owner names restricted?
- Proprietor (owner) names are subject to the Privacy Act and some records are protected by non-disclosure directions or orders such as under the Domestic Violence legislation. Accordingly you may be required to remove such records from your previously downloaded data, and this is best achieved through the use of a restricted licence as opposed to the open New Zealand Creactive Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
- Why does the shape of my title include the access lot?
The intent of the titles layer is to show the land that the title has primary rights over. Some titles include for example, an undivided share in an access lot. Both lots are shown and neighbouring lots will likewise show in interest in the access lot. The fact that the title does not have a full and exclusive right to all of the land shown is indicated in the ‘spatial_extents_shared’ column. If you are interested in the list of titles associated with an individual parcel of land, refer to the ‘title’ column in the various parcels layers.
- Why do the parcel layers sometimes have two appellations?
Appellations are the textual descriptions that describe a parcel and every parcel must have at least one appellation. Due to the historical nature of the data (ie survey and titles were separate systems maintained by separate government departments), occasionally the same parcel was ‘described’ differently, eg in Otago, the difference between lots and allotments. Where there are both survey and title appellations and the link between the parcel and the title has been established, the survey appellation is listed first.
- Why are some parcels not contiguous (ie they are separated by other parcels)?
- Multi-polygons exist primarily for parcels that have a single survey appellation but may be physically divided. They are therefore in the same title (where a title exists). A common example is where a road cuts through a parcel, but two individual parcels were not created on the survey. On old survey plans, etc, these would be shown with the parcels linked together with a vinculum (a symbol like a broken ‘s’). Under the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010, surveyors are no longer allowed to create new multi-polygon parcels.
- Why are there gaps in the title layers when I can see that there are parcels in the same area?
Firstly, most Crown land does not have a title such as roads. (Note: some land owned by the Crown may have titles eg schools etc), therefore a ‘gap’ will be evident when overlaid with the parcels layer.
Secondly, due to the historical nature of the data (ie survey and titles were separate systems maintained by separate government departments) there are a number of titles that have not been linked to the parcel shapes in the cadastre. Until these are identified and linked (matched), they are unable to be shown. This also affects unit titles.
LINZ currently has a linking project underway to improve this survey/title match rate.
For additional information refer to Landwrap article: improving the quality of Landonline.
- Why are unit titles not in the various title layers or listed in the parcels layers?
Landonline does not have the functionality to formally link unit titles to parcels. This means that without these links, unit title information is not able to be shown in these simplified data layers, which are based on Landonline data, because they are a-spatial records only. If they are required they can be obtained from the existing Bulk Data Extract.
- Why does the road centreline overlap with another road centreline?
The answer to this is usually because some roads have two names and each road is therefore represented independently:
This situation arises in several instances:
- Some roads form the boundary between two Territorial Authorities (TA) and each TA has named it differently. For example, Rongotea Road (Manawatu DC); Longburn Rongotea Road (Palmerston North CC).
- Some State Highways share a length, for example State Highway 5 and State Highway 30 share the same length of road in Rotorua.
- A road may start and restart such as State Highways running through rural towns but there is addressing on both.
- Why are there road parcels but no corresponding road centreline?
- This may occur where paper roads exist. These are where land has been designated as legal road but an actual road has never been formed.
- Why does the shape of my title include the access lot?
Most road centrelines commenced as centrelines for legal roads, and with the introduction of electoral requirements these slowly evolved into a mix of cadastral, legal, topographic and sketched (which is where only the general location was known). Some centrelines were hybrids of all four, however many users continued to incorrectly assume that they were cadastral or legal road centrelines due to Landonline bringing forward a historical naming concept. This concept related to the paper environment when a line would be shown with a pecked symbol on the map to indicate the location of a road where the parcel boundaries provided no indication as to where the road might be. These pecked roads were generally referred to as non-cadastral roads. To mitigate the incorrect legality assumptions, the flag has been reconfigured to clearly indicate whether the road has been derived from parcel information or not. Refer to the layer metadata for additional historical information.
- Why are some addresses aggregated into ranges?
- These are used where an address range has been allocated by the Territorial Authority to a property or building, and are also used in Landonline as a means of recording multiple addresses in a property against a single address point. The use of individual address points is preferable to ranges, but in some cases ranges must be used to avoid clutter and enhance clarity.
- Why are some addresses not on the road frontage?
Address points are maintained for electoral purposes. The location of an address point for electoral purposes are defined in the Electoral Act (Part 5 Section 72). When adding or modifying the location of address points the following priorities are observed:
Dwelling in correct meshblock
Same property as dwelling
Correct side of physical road
Correct side of legal road
Same parcel as dwelling
Location of dwelling
Location of property entrance Note 5
- Why does this dataset not include meshblock data from Landonline?
Meshblocks are the property of Statistics New Zealand and may be downloaded from the Statistics New Zealand website (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Why are topographic roads and electoral road centrelines different?
Topographic roads represent physical identifiable roads and tracks (at 1:50,000 scale), whereas the cadastral road centreline layers have commonly been created to enable the location of official road names throughout New Zealand. They also indicate the approximate extents to which each road name applies.
The spatial representation of electoral road centrelines are indicative only. They do not necessarily represent formed road access, actual carriageway location or legal access.
- How can I access positional accuracy of parcels and other related data?
In general, data relating to urban areas will be positionally more accurate than rural ones. This is largely because a greater number of surveys have been undertaken in urban areas. When Landonline was developed, this differentiation was exacerbated as survey capture areas were defined and parcel boundaries built from the original boundary information, whereas in rural areas, the boundary information supplied came from digitised records (refer to the parcel layer metadata for greater detail).
Surveys are now all digitally captured, so when they are integrated into the parcel fabric, they will in turn improve the accuracy of boundaries around them. When surveys are integrated, the extent of the adjustment is created as a shape. These shapes can be used to identify areas of recent improvement (refer to the cadastral adjustments layer).
The exact assessment that LINZ makes relating to parcel boundaries is inferred from the nodes of individual survey marks placed or relocated by the cadastral surveyor (refer to the various geodetic and survey mark layers). By overlaying these marks with the parcels, this relationship can be mapped. In general, any mark with an order of less than 8 will be shown as accurately as the underlying survey and commonly suitable to overlay with aerial photography and satellite imagery.
LINZ is currently improving low accuracy areas through the Spatial Parcel Improvement project.
- What is the difference between the parcel vectors and the survey observations layers?
The parcel vectors list is a subset of the latest of the survey observations. The list contains only boundary vectors.
This layer has been constricted to enable users to easily access the best known dimension for parcels (bearings or distances). As the cadastre is continually being updated with new surveys, it is possible that the latest information may be different to other information created at an earlier date, eg dimensions on a printout of a Certificate of Title.
- What is the cadastral adjustments layer for?
Whenever a cadastral survey is integrated into Landonline, a mathematical process is undertaken to fit it into the existing cadastre (and/or the cadastre fitted to the survey). This process creates a polygon covering the extent of the work and therefore shows that the cadastral survey dataset has been integrated. In general, integrated cadastral survey datasets will be survey accurate and when these polygons are combined with the original survey capture areas, the data within the area is as positionally accurate as LINZ can determine.
- Why is there not a layer for every table in the existing Bulk Data Extract (BDE)?
In order to provide datasets that are easy to use and have the most commonly required attributes for general use, LINZ has created simplified layers that are based on the more complex Landonline data model. These layers are more suitable for GIS work than the full BDE layers. The full Landonline datasets remain available via the existing BDE. Many tables are also a-spatial and cannot be displayed as a map without linking them to a spatial object.
- Can my existing Bulk Data Extract (BDE) license for the restricted owner information be transferred to the LINZ Data Service?
- Existing BDE licenses for restricted owner information are not transferable to the LINZ Data Service. This is because the restricted license is a separate licence which will be linked to the registered users of the LINZ Data Service.
- Why does the survey plans layer not include the plan images?
The LINZ Data Service (with respect to data derived from Landonline) leverages existing processes that only unload textual data from Landonline. This means that the plan images are not available although search points, and header information about a survey plan are included. The header information forms the basis of the information about survey plans.
Find out about obtaining a copy of an individual survey plan.
- Why do the title layers not include the title images?
The LINZ Data Service (with respect to data derived from Landonline) leverages existing processes that only unload textual data from Landonline. This means that the title images are not available. The title layers leverage links to the parcel information so that their location can be provided. Please refer to the various title layers for additional information.
Find out about obtaining a copy of an individual land title.
- Why is there not a land XML delivery format?
The LINZ Data Service is primarily a mechanism to deliver GIS data in the most common GIS formats. Land XML can be obtained by licenced Landonline users.
In addition, the LINZ Data Service (with respect to data derived from Landonline) leverages existing processes that only unload textual data from Landonline. These existing processes do not always bring through all the data required to generate land XML identical to the land XML file generated by Landonline e-survey.