Our capabilities

Last updated:24 August 2020

Geoscience Australia, specifically the National Location Information Branch, is the Australian Government's national mapping agency.

Through intergovernmental partnerships and collaborations, Geoscience Australia provides authoritative location information and geographic services, leadership and advice to the Australian government, industry and the public with a focus on exposure, topographic and maritime boundaries information. Our location information data and products enable evidence-based decision making, delivery of government policy, assist industry development needs and support community wellbeing.

We provide easy to use, fit for purpose, and nationally consistent digital mapping of Australia’s geography for government, business and the community to everyone, everywhere, creating an even playing field for innovation and helping grow the economy.

We lead the coordination of national-scale trusted data over Australia which is essential to growing Australian business faster and smarter, the success and defensibility of government policy and operations, and helping people better connect with government. We also lead a coalition of government partners to more efficiently operate key systems in the nation’s spatial data infrastructure including AEIP, EM-LINK, AMSIS, National Map, ELVIS and FSDF-LINK, as well as ensuring access is maintained and supporting standards and governance structures are developed and maintained.

We are a trusted advisor to many different areas across the Australian Government on matters where location, through digital mapping, is part of decision-making. We make it possible for government, business and the community to have trusted digital mapping at their fingertips for faster, cheaper and smarter decisions. Recent examples include:

  • Geoscience Australia has been called on by the Department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic to coordinate and deliver specific national datasets.
  • Geoscience Australia’s exposure information platform AEIP created over 14,000 reports to help decision makers reduce loss of life and economic impact during Black Summer.
  • Geoscience Australia’s experts in digital mapping have been embedded into both the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency.
  • Geoscience Australia is responsible for defining Australia’s Marine Jurisdiction and the framework of zones by which it is administered, as well as supporting the Commonwealth on a range of offshore issues including offshore resource administration.
  • Geoscience Australia is working with the Department of Defence on the Digital Mapping Australia initiative that will provide geographic data that allows the creation of common operating pictures for first responders during emergency and recovery operations.
  • Geoscience Australia is working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment to integrate information about the Australian population, its environment and its geography through the use of Linked Data deployed in the Location Index which will improve the useability of location information across government and business.
  • Geoscience Australia is collaborating with the Department of Defence, ANZLIC the Spatial Information Council and the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying & Mapping to make data defined in the Foundation Spatial Data Framework up-to-date and easy to access.

National Location Information underpins the delivery of Geoscience Australia’s Strategy 2028 predominantly through the impact areas of: supporting Australia’s community safety; managing Australia’s marine jurisdictions; and creating a location-enabled Australia. The National Location Information Branch also works closely with other areas of the agency to support them to deliver their impacts in other areas of the strategy. For example, our work supports the delivery of Geoscience Australia’s Priority Projects through providing vital contextual information to support increasingly accurate positioning as part of the Positioning Australia program and we also provided data, mapping and spatial analysis support to the recently completed first stage of the Exploring for the Future program. Our work on Unlocking the Historical Aerial Photography Archive will also help complement the work of the Digital Earth Australia program, to extend the available imagery back in time to the 1920s, long before satellites imagery started being collected.