National Elevation Data Framework

Digital elevation data which describes Australia's landforms and seabed is crucial for addressing issues relating to the impacts of climate change, disaster management, water security, environmental management, urban planning and infrastructure design.

National Elevation Data
map of Australia

The National Elevation Data Framework (NEDF) vision is to ensure that decision makers, investors and the community have access to the best available elevation data to address the needs of today and the decades ahead.

The mission of the NEDF is to optimise investment and access to existing and future data collections and ensure this investment is directed at policy and operational needs at national, state/territory and local levels. The NEDF will benefit federal, state and local agencies, the public, and the private sector by:

  • enhancing access to information across all levels of government, industry, academia and the community
  • minimising duplication of effort
  • increasing the utility of data by developing and promoting flexible standards that meet the needs of users and providers and 'future proof' our investment in data
  • promoting industry development through the coordination of acquisition programs, adoption of standards, partnerships and development of appropriate licensing arrangements
  • influencing the development of national and international capacity to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

ANZLIC - the Spatial Information Council, the Department of Climate Change (DCC), the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) and Geoscience Australia are coordinating the development of a NEDF in partnership with Australian, state and local government agencies, and industry.

During the three year period 2009-11 the NEDF is developing improved:

  • governance structures that enhance coordination and cooperation across all levels of government and industry and define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders
  • mechanisms for funding which promote cost sharing, and coordination of data acquisitions which meet whole of government requirements. These strategies will be seeking value for the taxpayer and promotion of industry development
  • technical standards which maximise the utility and interoperability of data to meet local, regional, national and international needs (further information available from the Elevation Special Interest Working Group (ESIG))
  • access, distribution and use arrangements which ensure information is discoverable, accessible and able to be used by government, industry and the community for improved decision making. These strategies are underpinned by the expectation that data collected using public monies will reside within the National Elevation Data Framework (NEDF) Portal
  • industry development and capacity building to help grow the ability of industry to meet the expanding needs of Australia in this area of technology. This will also involve getting the right market drivers and the appropriate training programs.

The Urban DEM and Geofabric Projects are being used to progress a significant proportion of the NEDF's initial development.

ANZLIC - the Spatial Information Council, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering sponsored a Workshop in Canberra on 18 March 2008. The presentations and project papers from the workshop have been released on the ANZLIC website.

  • Workshop Report
  • Workshop presentations
  • Background paper
  • Business Plan
  • Science Case
  • User Needs Analysis
  • 2008 National Data Audit


NEDF and Urban DEM Project Data Contributors.