Google Maps now uses a database from Sensis to underpin its operations in Australia, according to the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA).
Previously, Google used cadastral data from the Public Sector Mapping Authority (PMSA) to support its maps.
Whereas the PMSA data originated from land registry entities, the Sensis data will be maintained by ’crowd-sourcing’.
SIBA says firms that use Google Maps as part of their business operations should be alert to the potential for errors and omissions resulting from the change.
It also believes that the move presents an opportunity for firms who wish to provide rival services to Google.
In an official statement on the development, SIBA said user-based updating techniques such as crowd-sourcing may provide inadequate data for some companies .
“For example, it is not feasible for the public to effectively maintain comprehensive address and property boundary data. To be reliable, these data need to be derived from authoritative sources,” the statement says.
“In applications where data integrity/quality is of high importance, spatial data should be current, accurate, the best quality possible and from an authoritative source. The cost of inaccurate data for services such as emergency management, ambulance and fire services, security and a range of commercial applications can be very high.”
The spatial industry has the capacity to provide geospatial data services that meets these requirements, SIBA says.
The body strongly recommends that users investigate their long-term spatial data needs and engage firms that can provide ongoing service by a commercial supplier that will guarantee long-term supply and regular updates to spatial datasets.