Harnessing the growing volume of spatial data for the service delivery and advocacy functions of the NGO sector was the topic of a successful FONGA workshop convened by NCOSS on 27th February.
Hosted by Land & Property Information (LPI), part of the Office of Finance & Services, the workshop considered the progress of the NSW Government’s Location Intelligence Strategy and demonstrated the potential of the NSW Globe for the sector’s work.
Spatial or location data simply refers to information that pinpoints a location, such as an address, a building, a postcode or statistical area. Location intelligence involves adding a spatial dimension to business information to produce enhanced place-based knowledge.
Under the Location Intelligence Strategy, the NSW Government has committed to increase the availability of spatial data and facilitate its use by the government, private and NGO sectors.
NCOSS represents the sector on the Advisory Committee for the Strategy and has nominated a number of government datasets that our members would like to be made publicly available.
At the workshop LPI staff demonstrated the variety of data currently available on the NSW Globe, including property, census and transport data. They demonstrated how the Globe could be used to build customised (and where necessary, confidential) datasets derived from a range of sources, including NGO administrative or membership data.
Participants at the workshop also discussed the key issues and barriers that are currently impeding the optimal use of spatial data. Barriers identified included resistance to data release by government agencies and the skills and expertise required for the sector to make best use of what data is accessible.
Workshop participants came from a diverse range of state and regional peaks and large state-wide agencies, plus LPI and ABS staff. The outcome of the workshop, and options for follow up work, will be considered at a future meeting of FONGA.