Yarra Valley Water announces open data release

By on 27 July, 2017

Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest retail water utility has announced that its asset data has been publicly released, and is available online.

By providing both an interactive online Asset Map, and a WFS open data feed, customers can now access the data they want, instantly 24 hours a day.

Yarra Valley Water provides essential water and sanitation services to more than 1.8 million people, and covers Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs across approximately 4,000 square kilometres. Charles Moscato, Spatial Information Officer at Yarra Valley Water explains that as with many organisations reservations existed around who would need access to the data, and why given the large investment in the data that it should be made available.

“The business now has a greater understanding of the benefits associated in releasing asset data. Previously any data released required digital license agreements to be signed, which required the data to be manually extracted by GIS staff. Customers can now find the data they need straight away without relying on our GIS team to extract if for them” said Mr Moscato.

Most of Yarra Valley Water’s asset data was digitised in the late 1980’s from 1:25,000 hardcopy plans in areas that were semi-rural at the time, which have since become fully entrenched within Melbourne suburbia. The accuracy of this asset data being digitised means that for every 1 millimetre out when captured equated to 2-3 meters out on the ground.

“This may not sound like much of an issue, however when excavators are manually digging to find a pipe, 2-3 meters can be very significant,” explained Moscato. “By including the attribution information customers can be educated around the level of confidence that can be applied to the data presented as they will have a greater understanding of the source of the data and the quality of the information provided.”

Further improvements are in the pipeline, with Yarra Valley Water adding attribution to its data in relation to the Australian Standard 5488-2013. Mr Moscato anticipated that the move will open up applications in augmented reality (AR).

“As the spatial industry moves towards a more augmented reality, utilities can benefit in releasing their data via WFS services. This means that not only can existing processes be greatly improved, but utilities can also have additional information provided back into their systems” added Mr Moscato.

For more information on how to access the data, visit Yarra Valley Water’s asset data portal  or visit www.data.vic.gov.au.

It’s anticipated that by publicly releasing this asset data, customers can also inform Yarra Valley Water where data issues exist. As the spatial industry moves towards a more augmented reality, utilities can benefit in releasing their data via WFS services, so that not only can existing processes be greatly improved, utilities can have additional information being provided back into their systems by the customers in the field.

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