Spatial Information

The SA Government currently releases spatial information in ESRI shapefile format. Which additional formats should be provided e.g. GeoJSON, KML, GML?

Comments closed

Tony Jordan

06 Mar 2014

I totally agree with much of the below, it is interesting to note David McDonald's mention that 70% of SA LG's use PBS products, being around the traps a little I could also mention that out of theose 70% many probably dont know what GeoJSON or GML even means let alone using the format. I guess what I am saying here is dont forget the smaller Council's/business who just use the likes of MapInfo or ESRI and simply want to download or receive data and open and use, without having to convert or find a way of using the data just sourced..

Karen Hansen

06 Feb 2014

I also agree with Morgan, Andrew and Jim – data must be supplied compliant to OGC standards. Not only does this solve compatibility issues the HUGE advantage of accessing data via web services is the most current version of the data can be accessed directly from the custodian, eliminating the need to have a local copy of data.

Andrew Frost

31 Jan 2014

WMS and WFS is our choice. My organisation is very keen to use GEORss feeds from emergency agencies as well.

Matthew Luke

30 Jan 2014

My employer is one of the many councils using PBS technology and as such use the MapInfo TAB file format.

I'm very interested though in the supply of spatial data in KML format for use in developing custom maps using the Google set of tools.

Morgan Ellingham

29 Jan 2014

All spatial data formats should be compliant with the standards as outlined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Any and all proprietary formats should be avoided to ensure data availability and use for all stakeholders, regardless of their software choice.

Personally speaking I would prefer web services (WFS/WMS/CSW) to ease the integration pain, but understand an offline mode would also be required, so GML and/or the very soon to be certified KML would be fine as well.

Jim Groffen > Morgan Ellingham

30 Jan 2014

I agree with Morgan - we deal with a variety of government and non-goverment agencies that interact with spatial information. compatibility issues often arise and sticking to open standard formats would mitigate this.

James Paull > Morgan Ellingham

06 Feb 2014

I also agree with Morgan. Using proprietary formats limits the users and we should be doing everything we can to ensure the timely availability and usability of spatial data.

Most GIS applications (including ESRI, MapInfo, and QGIS) support the importation of OGC compliant data and this process can generally be automated.

Where web services can be used this should be a priority to reduce data redundancy and ensure data integrity, however this is reliant on a robust network infrastructure that can support the transfer of small to very large datasets. This is a both a distribution and end user problem that needs to be considered.

David McDonald

29 Jan 2014

With local government being such a large consumer of SA Government spatial data & with the fact around 70% of SA councils use PBS technology I would highly recommend that MapInfo TAB files should be a standard format supplied by the SA Government.

Alysha Thomas - Open Data Program Manager > David McDonald

29 Jan 2014

Hi David
Thank you for your feedback – The ability to share data across local and state government could improve policy, planning and the provision of services across South Australia. I am sure the community would also like access to open local council data.
I understand that MapInfo TAB format is a proprietary format.
Perhaps the best course of action is to find a common open format across councils and State government to release the data that is not subject to proprietary products?
What open format would be easiest to covert from MAPinfo TAB?
What open format do you prefer to convert into MAPinfo TAB?

Morgan Ellingham > David McDonald

30 Jan 2014

Hi Alysha,

Just to be clear, and although I absolutely agree with your sentiments, contrary to popular belief and in particular state government thinking, the esri Shapefile, like the MapInfo TAB, is a propriety format and is not certified in any way as being an open data format.

Jeff Canne

29 Jan 2014

I'd use KML most - open standard, many tools support it. However GeoJSON would be useful for native/ web apps, and shapefiles can always be converted to other formats like .tab if people needed them.