Geocoded national address data to be made openly available

Helen Owens | 07 Dec 2015

The Australian Government has entered into an agreement with PSMA Australia Limited (PSMA) to release one of the most requested ubiquitous, high-value datasets to the economy, PSMA’s Geo-coded National Address File (G-NAF), and their Administrative Boundaries datasets.

In today’s digitally mobile world, location based (or spatial) information influences almost everything we do. Access to spatial data is becoming increasingly important given the rapid take-up and use of mobile devices in Australia. One of the most ubiquitous and powerful spatial datasets in a digital economy is a highly accurate geocoded national address file.

The future release of this data into the economy is a significant demonstration of the Government’s commitment to better use of public data.

PSMA is an unlisted public company owned by the nine governments of Australia, including the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments. PSMA receives location data from each of the jurisdictions and standardises, formats and aggregates the data into authoritative location based national datasets.

The previous licencing arrangements for accessing the G-NAF were highly restrictive, preventing optimal collaboration and data sharing between existing users. This resulted in underutilisation of the data.

Making the G-NAF available under open data terms will remove barriers to greater use of the data and unlock and create opportunities for industry innovation and competitiveness.

Beneficiaries will include industry, community organisations, research institutions and government agencies.

Geocoded address data can be used in almost any business or operation. Examples include: national, state and local infrastructure planning; business planning and analysis; logistics and service planning; emergency and disaster response; personal navigation and mapping; fraud prevention; address validation at the point of entry for business and government; and effective government service delivery and policy development.

This initiative to make the G-NAF openly available has been achieved through collaboration between PSMA and the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments. PSMA’s success in aggregating data from across the jurisdictions has resulted in the development of an incredibly important and world leading national geocoded address dataset, which to date has been made commercially available. PSMA has worked hard to transform its business model so that this high-value data can be made available to the economy for use and reuse under open data terms.

The G-NAF and Administrative Boundaries datasets will be published under an open data licence at no cost to end users on in February 2016. The G-NAF will be provided as a Pipe Separated Value (psv) file and the Administrative Boundaries dataset will be provided as an ESRI Shapefile file. Updated versions of these datasets will be published on a quarterly basis.