Tuesday, September 24, 2013

South Australia opens its data

South Australian government is the latest convert to free and open data cause. Unveiling www.data.sa.gov.au portal South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, mandated that all state government agencies are to house their public data in a central portal to ensure that it is accessible to the community at large. At present there are 229 data sets released by a number of SA state government agencies including the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Attorney-General’s Department.

As with all the other initiatives of similar type, the success will be measured by uptake of released data by business and the community. However, this information is hard to compile, so my litmus test of the likely success of a particular “data.gov.au” initiative is how much of useful information is put in the public domain...

It looks that SA is on a right track releasing full roads dataset but more spatial data has to be made available in order for this initiative to start paying off for the effort involved. My next criticism is rather useless (or frankly, lacking) metadata information for supplied data but this issue is not unique to SA and other jurisdictions are also guilty of neglecting that aspect of the "data discovery" part of their respective project. "ISO 19115 - Geographic Information Metadata" is certainly nowhere to be seen on "data.gov.au" portals...

Below is a quick scorecard of State and Federal government open data initiatives - based on availability of “high value” spatial data (as per my very subjective list).

Table. Availability of Free Fundamental Spatial Data

Dataset
Fed
ACT
NSW
NT
Qld
SA
Tas
Vic
WA
Gazetteer
Yes



Yes
Yes



Cadastre boundaries




Yes (by LGA)
Adelaide City only

Yes

Addresses locations

Gungahlin Town Centre only


Yes (as a list)


Yes

Roads




Yes (State managed only)
Yes

Yes

Admin boundaries
Yes (via ABS)




Some State specific

Yes

Property sales


By LGA only




?

Property/ land valuations




Yes (data at LGA level only)


?

Elevation
Yes
(30m)



Yes (90% coverage at 10m)


Yes (contours 1m+)

High Res imagery
25-15m
Landsat; 2.5m AGRI

Potentially (as tile service)

Old Landsat imagery




Overall









 


I will restrain from providing my assessment of those initiatives at this point in time. It is enough to say that expectations are high as to the economic value free and open data could deliver but, as you can see from the above matrix, there are many gaps in availability of what I consider fundamental data to make any meaningful impact… Let's give it a year and see if there are any improvements.

Related Posts:
East coast unanimously frees data
Free data a GFC casualty
Governments intensify free data efforts
Data overload makes SDI obsolete
What’s the benefit of gov data warehouses?


First spotted on: spatialsource.com.au