Spatial data fast-tracked to aid recovery

Land Information NZ will develop a specific Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to assist Canterbury's recovery

Land Information NZ (Linz) has secured funding and canvassed interest in work towards a specific Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to assist Canterbury’s recovery from the effects of the earthquakes.

The project will run in parallel with the nationwide SDI, which is still at the planning stage.

An SDI is defined as the full framework – technology, policies, standards, human resources – necessary to acquire, process, store, distribute and improve the usability of geospatial data.

The eight workstreams involved in the Canterbury project are mostly concerned with sharing of spatial and property information between the various organisations participating in the recovery.

Included in the aims of the work are interoperability of geographic information systems (GIS), spatial coordination “to allow existing and planned infrastructure and built environment construction work to be visualised by location, and time” and so to help better coordinate work by teams on the ground; and applying best practice in 3D and “4D” modelling and augmented reality. 4D modelling shows the changes in a 3D structure with time.

Management of property data, workflow management, access to and sharing of utilities data and workflow management also figure.

Another workstream will develop enhancements to Environment Canterbury’s Map Viewer to enable smaller local authorities and environmental organisations to more easily share and update spatial data.

The work will not result in a fully implemented SDI for Canterbury, “but, rather, focuses on specific SDI-related projects that contribute to the Canterbury recovery and also inform the national SDI,” says Anita Balakrishnan, manager of geospatial and open data at Linz.

“We have identified elements of a SDI and identified projects for the Canterbury region. As we implement these projects for Canterbury, we will use the lessons learned to inform a national SDI.

“The Canterbury SDI is being managed as a separate, three-year programme of work as it is focused on accelerating the rebuild and recovery of the Canterbury region,” Balakrishnan says.

“The Canterbury projects will inform how aspects of a national SDI might progress.”

National SDI progress

The national SDI is a collaborative model, involving the New Zealand Geospatial Office and various organisations across government, industry, academia, and internationally, she says.

“As the requirements for the national SDI are many and varied, those who undertake work in Canterbury will not have an advantage when tendering for elements of a national SDI,” says Balakrishnan.

At this stage, Linz has asked for expressions of interest from potential providers. It expects to issue a closed request for proposal to selected interested parties by the end of April or later.

Meanwhile Balakrishnan says the national SDI project is progressing.

Adoption of the Geospatial Strategy is being monitored “to enable greater clarity on the tools needed to enable agencies to gain benefit from operating in a SDI environment.”

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