Video transcript: Better connecting New Zealand's location-based information

Geospatial information — or, at its simplest, information about location — has revolutionised how we see the world and our place in it.

It tells us where on Earth different things are, and how they relate to one another.

The data used in Google Maps, in-car navigation systems, or something as simple as an address directory, are all examples of geospatial information.

With its popularity and our increasing dependency on it, making geospatial information accessible is critical to today’s connected world.

Using geospatial information can boost economic growth.

In 2008 alone, using geospatial information injected around 1.2 billion dollars into New Zealand’s economy.

Take a single urban space or suburb.

Many kinds of geospatial information describe this area, and many activities would benefit from easier access to that information.

A Land Information Memorandum — or LIM report — for example, combines information on properties and boundaries, utilities, the nature and stability of the land, and flood hazards.

Other useful geospatial-related information can be included, such as the school district, rating information, and rubbish collection dates.

This information would come from a range of sources: private companies, local authorities and central government.

Title: Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)

A spatial data infrastructure would allow this geospatial information to be easily shared.

The result would be a faster and more accurate LIM for developers, investors or prospective home owners.

Other countries have formal spatial data infrastructures, but New Zealand doesn’t — yet.

As a result, it can be difficult to connect sources of geospatial information.

If you’re disconnected, you can end up collecting the same information as others — and quality geospatial information is often expensive to collect.

If geospatial information was easier to find and share, more organisations could make use of this valuable information resource.

By doing this, New Zealand could see a further 500 million dollars in economic growth each year through improved productivity.

Geospatial information can bring improvements to industry efficiency, customer service, social development, regional planning, disaster management, and public safety.

When responding, our emergency services need to know the best entries and exits, the number of people in an area, and what the surrounding environment is like.

All of this is geospatial information.

Easier access to this information would help emergency services make the best possible decisions, and quickly respond together.

At its simplest, a spatial data infrastructure connects providers and users of geospatial information — improving access and allowing existing sources of data to be reused.

Participation in a spatial data infrastructure involves following some common standards. These standards, like using the same types of plugs and sockets, build the connections between different systems.

Many nations, ranging from the United States to Norway, have mature spatial data infrastructures. They’ve resolved the technical issues, and are working with well-developed and internationally accepted standards.

In many cases, participating in a New Zealand spatial data infrastructure could be as easy as plugging into the standards.

Today, many organisations across the private sector and in government rely on geospatial information. But if we are to realise the full potential this information offers, we need to embrace spatial data infrastructure.

Title: Where will we be without it?

With so much room for innovation, the opportunities that spatial data infrastructure can generate are unlimited.

Title: Make the connection

You can be part of it.

Title: Thank you to:

New Zealand Fire Service
New Zealand Police
St John
Department of Corrections
New Zealand Food Safety Authority

Last Updated: 25 June 2015