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infrastructure > Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure

Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure

what is the ASDI?

The Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) is a national framework for linking users with providers of spatial information. The ASDI comprises the people, policies and technologies necessary to enable the use of spatially referenced data through all levels of government, the private sector, non-profit organisations and academia.

Key components of the ASDI are the:

Read more about the Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure on the Geoscience Australia website.

drivers and barriers

Factors driving the ASDI are:

  • maximising the economic, social and environmental benefits from investment in spatially referenced information
  • facilitating industry development
  • rising community expectations for online services
  • globalisation
  • technology
  • changing societal priorities
  • environmental degradation and natural resource depletion

Barriers to the ASDI are:

  • immature institutional arrangements and user/ provider relationships
  • inconsistencies in the availability and quality of spatially referenced data
  • inconsistent policies concerning access to and use of spatially referenced data
  • incomplete knowledge about the availability and quality of existing spatially referenced data
  • lack of best practice in the utilisation of enabling technologies

what is ANZLIC's role?

A key part of ANZLIC's strategy is to facilitate the implementation of ASDI. ANZLIC's vision for the ASDI is that:

Australia's spatially referenced data, products and services are available and accessible to all users.

ANZLIC, through its Spatial Data Infrastructure Standing Committee (SDI SC) is facilitating solutions to the various barriers facing the ASDI and monitoring those factors driving implementation. The Standing Committee acknowledges that the ASDI should be seen as more than an aggregation of individual jurisdictional SDI initiatives and that it is important to identify and engage all stakeholders in the evolution of the ASDI as a national initiative. Implementation needs to be value-driven and cooperative.

Institutional and capacity building strategies are addressed in the Spatial Information Industry Action Agenda (2001). These include building relationships between the public, private and academic sectors, education and skills formation and increasing research and development. These strategies are already being pursued by various bodies in the industry. For example, spatial data infrastructures is one of the research areas identified in the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information program. Links will be established with these other initiatives as part of the ASDI implementation.

priority actions

A number of priorities for further action are:

  • improve institutional arrangements
  • develop policies and guidelines to remove barriers to information flows
  • facilitate all jurisdictions moving in the same direction on policy issues such as access and pricing, copyright and privacy
  • coordinate development and adoption of a minimum set of standards focussed on data quality
  • facilitate useful and well documented statements of data quality
  • update directories of available information
  • promote the integratability of data where needed (what needs to fit together should fit together)
  • investigate defining and refining priorities for national datasets, and
  • develop the people and capacity to build the infrastructure including education, skills formation, and research and development initiatives


ASDI action plan for implementation

The SDI Standing Committee has developed an ASDI Action Plan for 2003–2004 which identifies the following priority areas for implementation of the ASDI:

  1. ASDI governance
  2. Access to data
  3. Data quality
  4. Interoperability
  5. Integratability

ANZLIC believes these actions:

  • provide a solid base for further actions by the Standing Committee and other stakeholders; and
  • provide an initial focus on interoperability issues using open system applications.

technical considerations

A technical working group provided advice on the technical considerations to be addressed in developing an online presence for the ASDI. The working group recommended use of open interoperability specifications in a generic web services model.

Detailed advice is contained in the ASDI Distribution Network: The Internet Framework Technical Architecture and ASDI Distribution Network: Implementation Options.

communication and consultation

There is a need to communicate with and obtain feedback from all ASDI stakeholders. For this purpose, ANZLIC has developed the ASDI Communication Plan. The areas of activity contained in the Plan include online resources, publications, projects and presentations. In some cases, communication could be generic to a wide audience, in other cases it would need to be tailored to the needs of a particular data provider or user groups. An example is the ASDI Brief for Senior Executives.

A key activity for ASDI implementation in 2003 was an ASDI Workshop Series around Australia. The aim was to solicit feedback and to get ownership of ASDI implementation actions from stakeholders in government agencies, academic institutions, professional associations and business enterprises.

In order to increase awareness about ASDI activities, it is important that both existing and new spatial information initiatives have recognisable ASDI outputs. ANZLIC encourages bodies carrying out actions under this plan to "brand" the products or services derived from these actions to acknowledge them as part of ASDI implementation. This branding could include, with concurrence of ANZLIC, use of the ASDI logo

ASDI discussion group

Join the online discussion group asdi-l to exchange views and experiences in relation to the development and implementation of the Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI). To subscribe to asdi-l:

send an email message to <>; and type the following in the body of the email message:

subscribe asdi

An asdi-l archive of all messages sent to this discussion group is available.

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