Last week Sparx Systems attended spatial@gov in Canberra with our partner Geoplex. This is the third year of the event and it was a week of meetings and discussions about data access specifications, infrastructures, tools and industry change. There was a buzz within the community and a great line up of speakers from Australia and overseas.
The Minister for Lands New Zealand Hon Maurice Williamson injected his enthusiasm into the discussion focussing on the reconstruction of Christchurch and comparing the impact of geospatial technology on society to that of the Internet.
Paul Smits from the European Union Joint Research Centre provided an update on the progress of the INSPIRE initiative and shared his insight as to the inherent value of approaches to the development of spatial data infrastructures, such as those demonstrated through the INSPIRE program. The INSPIRE Data Specifications can be downloaded from here. http://inspire.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.cfm/pageid/2/list/datamodels
Key focal points of the discussion included open data initiatives such as the New Zealand provision of free and open access to government-held public data, the Victorian Government increase in access to government data in an effort to spur the economy and the Danish government release of its digital raw material for free public re-use.
Data access will be provided to the public free which will reduce costs for those who have had to previously buy the same data. It also opens up opportunity for more businesses to create new products and services without having to initially purchase data.
In Australia the Office of Spatial Policy (OSP), the organiser of this event, is a central policy unit, responsible for facilitating and coordinating spatial data management across Australian Government agencies. There was much discussion and positive expectation from stakeholders concerning the establishment of a National Spatial Information Infrastructure (NSII) an initiative for which OSP has been appointed as task leader
Modeling of spatial data was discussed by many and there is a shared recognition not only of the productivity value of tools such as Enterprise Architect, but of the need by many in both government and private sectors, to gain a practical understanding of the application.