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Coarse Cultural Topographic Datasets (DCW) (National Geoscience Dataset): population centres

Note: This metadata describes the dataset in accordance with the ANZLIC (Australia New Zealand Land Information Council) Core Metadata Guidelines Version 2.

Dataset citation

ANZLIC unique identifier: ANZCW0703002389

Title: Coarse Cultural Topographic Datasets (DCW) (National Geoscience Dataset): population centres


Custodian: Geoscience Australia

Jurisdiction: Australia



Population centres such as major centres (associated with political DCW dataset (polys) for built up areas), populated places and villages (dataset derived from the Digital Chart of the World (DCW)). For more information on the Digital Chart of the World data please browse the DCW Internet Site Data can be downloaded from here in vpf format.

NOTE : For more accurate and detailed data covering continental Australia only please obtain the Global Map Data 1M

Generic information on DCW datasets :-

The primary source for DCW is the US Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) Operational Navigation Chart (ONC) series produced by the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The ONC's have a scale of 1:1,000,000, where 1 inch equals approximately 16 miles.The charts were designed to meet the needs of pilots and air crews in medium and low altitude en route navigation and to support military operational planning, intelligence briefings, and other needs. Therefore, the selection of ground features is based on the requirement for rapid visual recognition of significant details seen from a low perspective angle. The DCW database was originally published in 1992. Data currency varies from place to place depending on the currency of the ONC charts. Chart currency ranges from the mid 1960's to the early 1990's. Compilation dates for every ONC chart are included in the database.

ANZLIC search words:


Spatial domain:

locality map

Geographic extent name: AUSTRALIA INCLUDING EXTERNAL TERRITORIES - AUSAAT - Australia - Australia

Geographic extent polygon: 0 0, 180 0, 180 -90, 0 -90, 0 0,

Note: The format for each Geographic extent name is: Name - Identifier - Category - Jurisdiction (as appropriate) See GEN Register

Geographic bounding box:
North bounding latitude: 0 °
South bounding latitude: -90 °
East bounding longitude: 180 °
West bounding longitude: 0 °

Data currency

Beginning date: Not Known

Ending date: 1993-01-01

Dataset status

Progress: Complete

Maintenance and update frequency: Not Known


Stored data format:
DIGITAL - ArcGIS-coverage ArcInfo coverage Geographic WGS84
Available format type:
DIGITAL - shp ArcView shape file ArcView Geographic WGS84
DIGITAL - dat Data file MapInfo Geographic WGS84
DIGITAL - ArcGIS-coverage ArcInfo coverage Geographic WGS84

Access constraints:

Free to download

Free Data Download

Data quality


This dataset was compiled by Geoscience Australia staff from the original Digital Chart of the World VPF format dataset downloaded from the DCW website listed in the abstract. For information on the lineage of the original DCW (VPF format) datasets please view the Digital Chart of the World website listed in the abstract.

Post-DCW lineage

The seperate DCW tiles NA11, UA11, QC32-33, QD31-33, QE31-33, QF31-33 and all the RC, RD, RE, RF, SC, SD, SE, SF, TC, TD, TE, TF, UC, UD, UE, UF, VC, VD, VE, VF, WC, WD, WE, WF, XC, XD, XE, XF, YC, YD, YE, YF, ZC, ZD, ZE and ZF were compiled into single covers based upon the separate DCW themes. The vegetation layer was not available for the Australian area.

The data was then attributed fully as the existing coverages were attributed in code which only made sense with the DCW Data Dictionary. The field names were changed to be clearer for example the field AEPTVAl was changed to Elevation. No cleaning of the data was necessary exept for the place names coverages where upper and mixed case place names existed in the DCW data these were all changed to mixed case.

Geoscience Australia compliant fields were added to the data at this stage: UFI and FEATURE with AGSO_CODE and DESC added to non-polygon themes.

This dataset was comprised of the original DCW populated place point dataset.

Positional accuracy:

Nominal Scale 1:1,000,000

Low to moderate accuracy due to highly variable source data and the vintage of this dataset.

Attribute accuracy:

Low to moderate accuracy due to highly variable source data and the vintage of this dataset.

Logical Consistency:

Tests are carried out on these data for data completeness, correct spatial representation, attribute accuracy, logical consistency and correctness, and where appropriate for compliance with Geoscience Australia's GIS data dictionary.


The dataset coverage is complete for the Australian Jurisdictional Area.

Contact information

Contact organisation: Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) (GA)
Contact position: Manager Client Services
Mail address: Cnr Jerrabomberra Ave and Hindmarsh Dr
Mail address: GPO Box 378
Locality: Canberra
State: ACT
Country: Australia
Postcode: 2601
Telephone: 02 6249 9966
Facsimile: 02 6249 9960
Electronic mail address:

Metadata information

Metadata date: 2013-03-08

Additional metadata

Metadata reference XHTML:

Metadata reference XML:

point items :-

feature this items defines the broad feature type that the item falls into

UFI a unique feature identifier

agso_code an identification number assigned to features of specific types.

Only those features that correspond to AGSO_CODE entries

have been given an AGSO code. (Geoscience Australia added attribute)

desc a description of the feature in terms of its specific AGSO code

(Geoscience Australia added attribute)

name name of the feature (population centre)

type a more specific explanation of what the feature is

status this field is not always filled in but where it is it gives

and even more specific categorisation to the feature in question

Authors:Lawford, G. Stanley, S. Kilgour, B.