Note: this article was originally published 26 February 2016.
As promised by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in December, the Australian Government has taken an important step in promoting innovation by today releasing one of the most requested and high-value digital datasets to the economy, PSMA Australia Limited’s Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) and the associated Administrative Boundaries dataset.
Created by PSMA Australia Limited, G-NAF is a complex database consisting of more than 30 tables of data and 13.5+ million principal addresses. It is built from addresses supplied by ten contributors including the land agencies in each state and territory of Australia. The release is also accompanied by the dataset of official administrative boundaries, Australia’s most comprehensive national collection of boundaries including government, statistical and electoral boundaries.
In an announcement about the release, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, the Hon. Angus Taylor welcomed the public release of the datasets, one of the Government’s commitments under the National Innovation and Science Agenda announced on 7 December 2015.
“With the release of the G-NAF, Australia becomes one of only a few countries in the world to make national geocoded address data openly available,” Assistant Minister Taylor said. “Denmark made its geocoded address data open in 2002 and access to this data has been estimated to have added 62 million Euros to the Danish economy in the five years from 2005-2009. So the opportunities this represents to Australia’s economy are significant.”
Geocoded address data can be used for many purposes, including personal navigation applications, infrastructure planning, business planning and analysis, logistics and service planning, and government service delivery and policy development. For example, an understanding of the approximate number of dwellings in an area can inform decisions for planning and developing community facilities and services.
“The Government is committed to making the best use of high-value public data and promoting digital innovation through publishing and sharing it.
“Data volumes are growing exponentially and so too is the potential value of public data. Australia’s capacity to remain competitive in the global digital economy depends on how well we can harness the value of this public data.
“The Australian Government recognises the importance of effectively managing, sharing and publishing public data as a national resource for the benefit of the Australian people.”
The Administrative Boundaries dataset contains boundaries in seven themes: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) boundaries, electoral boundaries, state and territory boundaries, local government areas, suburbs/localities, wards and town points. Some of the themes, such as the ABS boundaries, include further layers of data to support a wide range of analysis and segmentation activities.
The announcement stated that neither the G-NAF nor Administrative Boundaries datasets contain any personal information.
The G-NAF and Administrative Boundaries datasets are available for use and reuse at no charge to end users through the Australian Government’s online data portal, data.gov.au. Updated versions of these datasets will be published on a quarterly basis.
The G-NAF is available at: www.data.gov.au/dataset/geocoded-national-address-file-g-naf
The Administrative Boundaries dataset is available at: www.data.gov.au/dataset/psma-administrative-boundaries
Value added resellers and integrators provide a range of commercial products based on G-NAF including software solutions, consultancy and support, which are listed here: https://www.psma.com.au/get-data