Spatial Data Infrastructure
Most human activity depends on location-based or geospatial information, that is: knowing where things are and how they relate to one another. This geospatial data is collected by central and local government agencies, academia, the private sector, as well as community groups and individuals.
A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) facilitates the connections between these important sources of information, and allows people to find and access them – much like roading infrastructure connects important locations. SDI is the technology, policies, standards, and human resources necessary to acquire, process, store, distribute and improve the usability of geospatial data. Essentially, an SDI is the full framework supporting the use of geospatial information.
There are many areas where an SDI can benefit New Zealand, including the potential to make significant economic gains. Geospatial information is widely used in New Zealand and already contributes over $1.2 billion a year to the economy. It also forms a part of New Zealand’s knowledge infrastructure and enables innovation and better decision-making. Removing key barriers to connecting this information could add a further $500 million a year in productivity benefits and generate an extra $100 million in government revenue.
See the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy website for more information on spatial information in the New Zealand economy.
Watch a short video outlining what geospatial information is, what a spatial data infrastructure is, and the benefits of better connecting New Zealand's geospatial information. more...
In December 2010, the Minister for Land Information put forward a Cabinet paper recommending that Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), through the New Zealand Geospatial Office (NZGO), lead the development of an SDI for New Zealand. The paper also recommends that government agencies be directed to support and be involved with the SDI from the development phase. The paper was agreed by Cabinet on 13 December.
Download the Cabinet paper, Cabinet minute, and an overview on why an SDI is necessary for New Zealand:
- Cabinet paper: Capturing economic benefits from location-based information (PDF 1MB)
- Cabinet minute: Capturing economic benefits from location-based information (PDF 24KB)
- Cabinet paper overview: capturing economic benefits from location-based information (PDF 759KB)
In the first half of 2011, the NZGO, within existing governance arrangements of the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy, will develop an implementation plan for a national SDI, including any funding, resource or pricing requirements.
Location-based information is an important national asset, and the NZGO will work closely with government agencies, academia, the private sector and community groups to develop the implementation plan.
LINZ is currently involved in two other projects that will feed into the SDI: an enironmental and geospatial data catalogue, and a web-based service for accessing LINZ data.
Environmental & Geospatial Data Catalogue
The Environmental and Geospatial Data Catalogue is being developed in a joint venture between the NZGO and the Ministry of Science and Innovation. It works in a similar way to a library catalogue or set of Yellow Pages, by listing data available and directing the person searching to where they can access the data.
LINZ Data Service
The aim of the LINZ Data Service is to provide LINZ’s fundamental datasets online for use – something that LINZ has not previously done. The Data Service will form an important part of the SDI once it is established, and the Geospatial and Environmental Data Catalogue will point people to the LINZ Data Service to access data held by LINZ.
Read questions and answers about what a spatial data infrastructure is, what it involves, and what the benefits are. more...