Advanced Search  |  

Australian Maritime Boundaries (AMB)

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: ANZCW0703007842

Title: Australian Maritime Boundaries (AMB)


Custodian: Geoscience Australia

Jurisdiction: Australia



AMB is a dataset depicting the limits of Australia's maritime jurisdiction as set out under UNCLOS and relevant domestic legislation. To this extent, AMB provides a digital representation of the outer limit of the 12 nautical mile territorial sea, the 24 nautical mile contiguous zone, the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone and Australia's Continental Shelf, as well as, the 3 nautical mile coastal waters. Where Australia has agreements with neighbouring countries these treaty lines are also included in the data.

The dataset has been compiled by Geoscience Australia in consultation with other relevant Commonwealth Government agencies including the Attorney-General's Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the Australian Hydrographic Office.

Australia's maritime boundaries are computed from the territorial sea baseline which has been mapped by Geoscience Australia using the most reliable information available at the time it was compiled. However, it should be noted that the territorial sea baseline supplied in AMB is not intended to be a comprehensive coastline dataset and only contains features relevant to maritime boundary determination. Basepoints that generate the zone boundaries are supplied in separate files.

Other data included in AMB are the 'Scheduled Area' boundaries of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 (Cth), individual line and point files depicting maritime boundary agreements with neighbouring countries, and polygon data of the various maritime zones supplied primarily for mapping purposes.

AMB data is clearly attributed providing information about the source material used to determine the baseline and linking the baseline with the various limits. The data is available in geographical coordinates which can be referenced to the WGS84 datum which is used on charts and by mariners more generally.

The area of coverage of the AMB data is for the whole of the Australian marine jurisdiction which includes waters adjacent to the mainland, offshore islands and External Territories. The geographical extent is approximately between the latitude limits of 7 S to 70 S and the longitude limits 40 E to 175 E.

This dataset includes the following disclaimer:

AMB data is a digital representation of the territorial sea baseline and of the outer limits of Australia's maritime zones. The baseline and zones are established under the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973. The data also includes a representation of the limits by which the waters adjacent to each of the Australian States and of the Northern Territory are determined under the Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act 1980, Coastal Waters (Northern Territory Powers) Act 1980 and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967. In the event of an inconsistency between AMB data and the baselines and limits under the legislation, the latter prevails.

ANZLIC search words:

  • BOUNDARIES Administrative Models
  • MARINE Mapping
  • MARINE Models

Spatial domain:

locality map

Geographic extent name: ASHMORE REEF AND CARTIER REEF - ACR - General Test - Australia

Geographic extent name: COCOS (KEELING) ISLAND - COI - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent name: AUSTRALIA EXCLUDING EXTERNAL TERRITORIES - AUS - Australia - Australia

Geographic extent name: ASHMORE REEF AND CARTIER REEF - ACR - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent name: CHRISTMAS ISLAND - CHI - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent name: NORFOLK ISLAND - NOI - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent name: CORAL SEA ISLANDS TERRITORY - CSI - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent name: TERRITORY OF HEARD AND MCDONALD ISLANDS - HMI - External Territories - Australia

Geographic extent polygon: 40 -7, 175 -7, 175 -70, 40 -70, 40 -7,

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

Geographic bounding box:
North bounding latitude: -7 °
South bounding latitude: -70 °
East bounding longitude: 175 °
West bounding longitude: 40 °

Data currency

Beginning date: 2001-09-01

Ending date: 2006-02-17

Dataset status

Progress: Complete

Maintenance and update frequency: Not Known


Stored data format:
DIGITAL - e00 ArcInfo export (e00) ArcInfo Workstation Geographic WGS84
Available format type:
DIGITAL - shp ArcView shape file ArcView Geographic WGS84
DIGITAL - mif MapInfo Interchange Format (MIF) MapInfo Geographic WGS84
DIGITAL - e00 ArcInfo export (e00) ArcInfo Workstation Geographic WGS84

Access constraints:

The data are subject to Copyright. Data files may be downloaded from Geoscience Australia's website at A licence agreement is required.

Free Data Download

Data quality


The territorial sea baseline (`the baseline?) data was originally derived from Geoscience Australia's 1:100 000 scale coastline data supplemented with coastal aerial photography in some areas. This mapping of the baseline was done in the early 1990?s and since then the baseline data has been extensively validated and revised using the best available data from Geoscience Australia, the Australian Hydrographic Office and all State and Territory mapping agencies. The source material used for this purpose includes charts, topographic mapping, recent aerial photography and satellite imagery, as well as, other miscellaneous sources, such as LADS data.

Australia?s baseline incorporates approximately four hundred straight baselines as proclaimed under the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973. The location of the terminal points of these straight baselines were revised in 2005 to make them compatible with the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA94) as well as Geoscience Australia?s most recent mapping of the baseline. These new locations of the straight baselines have been incorporated into the baseline for AMB. The various maritime limits that are derived as a distance from the baseline have been rigorously computed using specialises geodetic software rather than simple buffering. This software, known as MarZone was developed specifically for this purpose by the Department of Geomatics, University of Melbourne under contract to Geoscience Australia.

Other maritime boundaries included in AMB have been digitised from their description in the relevant legal instrument such as treaty or legislation. Where necessary, these coordinates have undergone a datum transformation to be consistent with other AMB data.

Positional accuracy:

The positional accuracy of the baseline varies according to the scale and origin of the source material, the data digitising process and the stability of the coastline. Experience and empirical evaluations suggest that the location of the baseline in AMB has been mapped to an accuracy generally better than 150 metres standard deviation.

As the maritime limits are rigorously computed no significant error is introduced in this process. Limits which are arcs are represented by chords with a one metre arc to chord tolerance. Boundaries digitised from a coordinate list, such as treaties, are as accurate as the stated coordinate and where applicable, the coordinate transformation method used. In general, the boundary data can be regarded as having been computed to an accuracy of one metre whether it is derived from the baseline or a list of coordinates.

Attribute accuracy:

Manual testing of the attribute items and values was performed on all of the data.

Logical Consistency:

ArcInfo was used to do a topological consistency check to detect flaws in the spatial data structure and to flag them as errors. This check ensures that all classified polygons are closed, nodes are formed at the intersection of lines and that there is only one label within each polygon, etc.


The AMB data contains a complete picture of Australia?s jurisdictional boundaries, as well as, the territorial sea baseline and/or treaty lines from which they are derived.

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:

Size of dataset: 105 - 238 MB depending on the format

Scale/resolution: Variable - source is generally larger than 1:150 000

Projection/datum: WGS84 (ITRF2000@2000.0)

Authors:Hirst, B.