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First release of Geoscape’s continent-wide building dataset

Geoscape1

Specialist geospatial data providers, PSMA Australia, has just announced the initial release of Geoscape, a continent-wide initiative to capture the built environment as an accurate spatial dataset. The first of the comprehensive building datasets are now available for Adelaide, rural South Australia, Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

All Geoscape datasets in rural and urban environments include building ground elevation and footprint data, as well as land cover classification. In all urban environments, datasets are extended to include tree heights, rooftop materials, swimming pools, solar panels and building heights.

As the first to use these methods en-masse, PSMA is on course to roll-out Geoscape at an unprecedented scale- delivering a detailed register of the built environment at every address across Australia. Geoscape was officially unveiled as part of the Locate Conference in April 2016, and swiftly garnered international attention and amassed a number of awards.

Geoscape data is generated using a novel and scalable approach to analyse DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution satellite imagery using machine learning. These self-learning algorithms are informed by crowdsourced data from the Tomnod platform as well as multi-spectral imagery data for detecting building materials, leading to the automatic extraction of buildings and man-made features. The resulting datasets will be continually updated as DigitalGlobe’s WorldView satellite constellation continues to collect high-resolution imagery.

PSMA Australia describes the Geoscape initiative as “a world-first for whole of continent data collection of this quality and scope.” PSMA also has an exhaustive list of potential use cases for the data, including, but not limited to: service delivery, transportation, planning, land management, risk estimation, policy making, emergency response and infrastructure rollout.

Indeed, due to the comprehensiveness of the data Geoscape is set to benefit almost every sector of business, and perhaps even lead to new ways of doing business.

This first release of Geoscape marks the start of the national rollout. According to PSMA’s latest rollout schedule, the remainder of the remainder of the national datasets are expected to become available during the course of 2017 and early 2018. The next areas to get the Geoscape treatment include Sydney, rural New South Wales, Launceston and rural Queensland, all with an expected release in March 2017.

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