Collaboration delivers benefits to spatial information users
Landgate’s core business is land and property information. Geospatial information is gathered from ground surveys, aerial photographs and satellite imagery to produce a wide range of digital and hard copy products and services.
In 2003, Landgate recognised the need to enable users to access spatial information online in real time. They needed to overcome the barriers experienced by industry and the public when dealing across government agencies and ensure information could be readily discovered and evaluated.
Through the Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP), Landgate demonstrates how connection to data contained in disparate WA Government agencies and systems, from a single point-of-access, can work. SLIP embraces the WA e-Government strategy of “connected” government. The spatial information it provides underpins and links a range of government activities, including planning, land use and development, environmental sustainability and emergency.
Complex approval process simplified
The high demand for subdivision and strata approvals in recent years has highlighted the need for streamlining approval processes. The assessment process for subdivisions in WA is complex and involves contact with many government and commercial agencies. It is also time critical.
Landgate was charged with assisting industry in identifying critical interests and providing them with a better means to access this information. It was recognised early in the process that giving metadata a high priority was a key to achieving this. This priority extended to integrating the maintenance and delivery of metadata to customers through the new system and processes.
Around the same time, ANZLIC (the Spatial Information Council for Australia and New Zealand) was responding to national and international feedback that was driving changes to metadata standards for geo-referenced data. This helped data providers to support interoperable datasets and data users to access similar information from across Australia, confident that the metadata would be consistent. The process involved standardising naming conventions, altering categories (either expanded or contracted) and standardising or changing formats. Adjustments were also made to the mandatory and core fields that needed to be completed for all data.
Access to land information gets easier
The SLIP Enabler is revolutionising the way government land and property information is used and shared. The online real-time access to spatial information is accessed through a single point and spatial information is easy to locate. This seamless system across networked government processes and systems overcomes the agency run-around currently experienced by industry and the public.
It will also create further benefits by facilitating greater sharing of information amongst diverse groups, more consistent use of information, supporting the decision-making process and the ability to add substantial value by combining a range of information sources.
Metadata becomes essential component for data release
The WA spatial community has acknowledged the importance of metadata for the past quarter of a century but by opening up the information to a larger audience, the gaps pertaining to descriptions of the data were highlighted.
The development of the metadata has been integrated into the new business processes for sharing the information. The currency and accuracy of this metadata is monitored and data is not released through SLIP until it has metadata associated with it. The ongoing responsibility for metadata maintenance rests with the data custodians through agreements put in place. Traditionally the process has been very technical as opposed to business orientated but moves are being made to change this too.
Benefits delivered to both users and providers
The SLIP Enabler is cutting edge technology that provides users with the ability to discover, view and access Western Australia’s considerable land and geographic data resources anywhere, any time. Access to the most recent “authoritative” source of spatial information improves data integrity and the online real-time basis ensures the right information can be made available to the right people at the right time.
The benefits extend to cost savings for government. The infrastructure overheads to implement systems using spatial information will be reduced.
Opportunities exist for WA State Government agencies, as well as other organisations, to take advantage of the SLIP platform. Already benefits have been received in the following areas:
• emergency management,
• electronic land development processes,
• natural resource management,
• property interest enquiries.
This platform will also provide services that will enable software applications to access data. This includes associated hardware, software and communications bandwidth improvements.
What lessons were learnt?
Develop and communicate your framework
The ANZLIC metadata profile provided a clear framework for metadata for the SLIP enabler. The profile is widely used by the geospatial community in Australia and is based on the ISO 19115 standard.
Not only does the profile set out exactly what metadata is expected, but there are tools available to validate metadata against the profile to ensure it complies.
Want to find out more?
For more information about Landgate and SLIP, visit www.landgate.wa.gov.au
For more information about the NSS, visit www.nss.gov.au.