Data Data standards

Last updated:7 June 2023


Data standards are documented agreements on representation, format, definition, structuring, tagging, transmission, manipulation, use, and management of common data.

The use of common terminology and common data element definitions enables the integration of databases, and promotes more efficient and effective use of data by users of commonly defined data from disparate sources.

The Australian government policy on public data requires, where they exist, the use of agreed open standards when making data available.


Geoscience Australia uses domain standards that are openly available, to provide a common language for communicating ideas and provide consistency of meaning of the data collected, research undertaken and products created. The Strategy and Vision for maximising our data potential is supported by data management that results in trusted, reusable, interoperable, findable and accessible data.

Geoscience Australia advocates the use of many data standards and we are actively represented on standards organisations that govern these standards. For example, the International Organisation for Standardization (through Standards Australia), Open Geospatial Consortium and the World Wide Web Consortium.

One of the most commonly used standards in Geoscience Australia is ISO 19115 - Geographic Information - Metadata which is used to catalogue our data and data products.

In developing and maintaining national geoscience data standards, Geoscience Australia strives to consult as widely as possible with the geoscience and geospatial industry. We aim for excellence in the provision of our standards and advice. The development and maintenance of our standards depends on cooperative effort and consultation with those who have an interest in the value and use of data standards.

Geoscience Australia is part of the international research community and as such supports FAIR data principles (data that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). More information on how Geoscience Australia meets these principles is outlined on the GA and FAIR data principles page.


Geoscience Australia has developed a profile (GA Profile) of the ISO 19115:2014 Geographic Information metadata standard. The GA Profile is designed to support the documentation and discovery of Geoscience Australia datasets and other resources in our catalogue, as well as the data management and sharing requirements within the agency.

For more information on data standards in Geoscience Australia please contact: