The Victorian Government last week made public high-value spatial data as part of its DataVic Access policy, making it freely available for all Victorians at www.data.vic.gov.au.
Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips, said that the “initial release in multiple formats – including the underlying raw data – has opened up more than 400 datasets.
“This first stage of spatial data release includes Local Government, electoral, urban growth and planning scheme boundaries, rail network and relief contour data and parks and conservation areas,” said Mr Rich-Phillips.
Mr Rich-Phillips also added that the government has many high-value information assets in the form of spatial datasets with thousands of data items.
Incorporating spatial data as part of data.vic.gov.au is a top priority of the Victorian Government’s ICT Strategy – a 50-point action plan that focuses on the delivery of better services, reducing waste, encouraging innovation and improving ICT procurement across government.
With changing expectations around open data, the Victorian Government is linking information sources together and broadening the content available in the pool – making it easier to tailor and use the data specific to their needs.
Mr Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that all Victorians have access to the most up-to-date, high-quality data and information that is relevant to their State.
“Making the data freely available in multiple formats demonstrates the principles of the DataVic Access policy – to make data accessible in formats that promote its reuse and aids discovery,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“Released in August 2012 the DataVic Access Policy promotes the importance of sharing government data at no or minimal, cost to users.
“The Policy is progressively delivering changes to the previously restrictive licensing arrangements around the release of data, including versatile and highly valued spatial data,” said Mr Rich-Phillips.
The DataVic portal now provides access to more than 900 free data sets, and is on track to meet its target of 1,000 data sets by September 2013.
“Providing open access to government data not only helps drive innovation and create new business opportunities but it will also enable the development of new products and services.
“The data.vic.gov.au website is also helping to improve efficiency and effectiveness of government by encouraging better data management practices and providing a better range of data for government decision making.”