Open access to Geoscience Australia's data

30 July 2014

Surface Geology of Australia dataset map showing the lithostratigraphy, faults and contacts.

An example of the Australian
Surface Geology dataset available
via web service.

Geoscience Australia is a leader in the provision of open spatial data, enabling clients to discover and use these data for a broad range of scientific, government, industry and community purposes.

Dr Sue Fyfe, Director, Geoinformatics and Data Services at Geoscience Australia said that it is a key strategic priority for Geoscience Australia to make its data accessible via web services, using internationally recognised standards including Open Geospatial Consortium standards.

"These data services demonstrate Geoscience Australia’s commitment to the Australian Government’s open data network," Dr Fyfe said.

Geoscience Australia created its first web service nearly 15 years ago and now provides access to over 150 web services. These include new and updated services for national geoscience datasets, as well as the Foundation Spatial Data Framework and the spatial data catalogue FIND - the authoritative search engine for Australian government spatial data.

"The new services reflect the most recent versions of the underlying data. Furthermore the underpinning infrastructure has been upgraded, which will improve the reliability and performance of the services," Dr Fyfe said.

One of Geoscience Australia’s early web services, the National Geoscience Datasets Web Map Service (WMS), which has provided access to national scale geoscience datasets since 2001, was recently decommissioned and replaced with an easier to access data delivery service.

The National Geoscience Datasets WMS became a benchmark for open standards for delivery and interoperability of spatial data, and was recognised as an industry leading open source web map service.

Most data themes from the National Geoscience Datasets WMS can still be accessed via alternate Geoscience Australia web services. These datasets include airborne geophysics, hydrogeology of Australia, crustal elements of Australia and Australian Topography. The full list of retired datasets, including the old WMS layers and related replacement services, is available via the Geoscience Australia website.

All current Geoscience Australia web services can be discovered and accessed from the Geoscience Australia Web Services page, Geoscience Australia’s Data and Publications Search or FIND.