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ANZLIC The Spatial Information Council
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policies & guidelines

best practice in spatial data management

The key role of ANZLIC is to promote accessibility to and usability of spatial information. There can be many barriers to information access such as organisational boundaries between agencies, jurisdictions and nations; lack of consistent information standards; and use of incompatible or inappropriate technologies.

ANZLIC is encouraging development of consistent government policies within Australia and New Zealand to minimise these barriers wherever possible. ANZLIC is working with all government jurisdictions and the private sector to develop policies and guidelines which adopt international best practice and which are relevant to conditions found by practitioners and users of spatial information in both countries. ANZLIC is promoting the use of best practice through mechanisms such as the Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure and embedding its use in the practices of both public sector agencies and business enterprises that provide spatial data and services.

Adoption of best practice by the spatial information industry can not only remove barriers to providing better services, but improve the confidence of users that the information they are using is suitable for their needs.

ANZLIC has prepared a suite of inter-related policies and guidelines aiming to assist organisations achieve ‘best practice’ in spatial data management, including:

ANZLIC is currently developing or updating guidelines about:

  • Liability

putting policy into action

ANZLIC has worked with the Australian National Land & Water Resources Audit (the Audit) to develop a Data Access and Management Agreement [PDF: 21pp, 422kb], signed by all jurisdictions in September 2001. The agreement provided consistent access arrangements to the data sets held by the Audit and its jurisdictional partners.

Further, ANZLIC and the Audit have collaborated in developing a model agreement for use in any natural resource management program. The Model Data Access and Management Agreement [PDF: 12pp, 306kb] incorporates guidelines for custodianship, metadata, archiving, accessing, data licensing and pricing and puts them into an operational context (note: this document is currently under review). Similarly ANZLIC is building partnerships with the marine data and emergency management communities to progress adoption of a common standards-based framework.

ANZLIC will continue to identify access barriers and prepare appropriate policies and best practice guidelines to overcome them.

benefiting practitioners

ANZLIC aims to provide "shrink wrapped" guidelines and agreements that with minimum modification can form part of implementing best practice in any projects creating or using spatial information. Project managers will benefit by not having to start from scratch, and will have access to best practice guidelines at the beginning of their project. This will lead to better quality information underpinning project outputs and meeting user needs. Ultimately it is planned to build these practices into a consistent spatial data infrastructure, accessible to all data providers and users of data services.

building capacity

Successful projects have generally adopted an integrated information management solution—combining the elements of leadership, people, technology, applications and data into a framework that ensures tools and procedures are in place to maintain and transform data into useful information products.

ANZLIC and the National Land & Water Resources Audit have worked with data managers from around Australia to discover current best practice procedures they have developed through long experience. This experience has been encapsulated in the Natural Resources Information Management Toolkit.

The Toolkit is part of a strategy aimed at building capacity to implement natural resources information management solutions. ANZLIC is currently undertaking a similar project with Australian Local Government Association to build a Toolkit for use by local government.

The Toolkits represent practical implementation of ANZLIC's best practice policies and are helping to put the ASDI on the ground.

how can you participate?

Project managers are encouraged to adopt these ANZLIC spatial data policies and guidelines in their projects. All practitioners are invited to provide on best practice issues so the ANZLIC policies and guidelines are kept relevant to evolving needs.