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New South Wales (NSW) Offers Comprehensive Location Intelligence Strategy

Monday, May 5th 2014
By Joe Francica

The government of New South Wales, Australia, issued a draft document last fall entitled NSW Location Intelligence Strategy (pdf) that entails a comprehensive plan to leverage location-based information to improve government services and establish better governance for sharing information. Recently, the plan was released (pdf) by the Minister of Finance and Services. The plan lists a set of priorties as follows:

The implementation of NSW Location Intelligence Strategy will be guided by an Action Plan which sets actions and tasks for each of the five strategic initiatives in the Strategy.

  1. Build awareness, capacity and capability by promoting the importance, value and benefits of location intelligence to the State’s public, private and community sectors.
  2. Integrate governance and coordination by reviewing current location intelligence sharing practices and develop a new framework that provides integrated governance and coordination across all location intelligence providers in NSW.
  3. Identify and manage government location-based data by establishing whole-of-government processes for identifying, collecting and managing authoritative location-based data.
  4. Link NSW Government data to location by ensuring a location dimension is available for all key NSW Government economic, social and environmental data.
  5. Leverage whole-of-government location platforms and services by ensuring all NSW Government location intelligence can be easily accessed and utilised by government, industries and communities.

This is a wholistic approach to apply location-based information across government services and recognizes the value of geospatial information not just for typical mapping applications in tax assessment and urban planning but also for health and finance. The report summarizes the value of Location Intelligence this way:

Location Intelligence (New place-based knowledge) = Location-based information (i.e. Spatial Data) + Business Information

The reason for undertaking such an analysis of the importance of location-based information across multiple disciplines and the business value to the government is summed as follows:

At present, the benefits of location intelligence are not being fully realised across NSW. Government datasets that incorporate location-based information cannot be easily accessed and analysed with reliability across NSW Government agencies. There remains too much duplication of effort collecting similar data, too little reuse and too few linkages across key datasets which is costly and inefficient ... The Strategy provides the impetus for action and a roadmap that clearly sets out what needs to be done, when, how and by whom. It provides a consistent and integrated governance framework to ensure the coordination of location intelligence in NSW. The Strategy ensures that NSW keeps pace with world best practice location intelligence management.
More governments are beginning to treat location-based informaiton in this manner thereby recognizing the value in all facets of government. What isn't clearly established and what this report identifies is a clear governance model for moving data between departments and reducing the redundant IT expenditures. As important, is the ability to quickly share information in emergency situations where barriers to sharing data are removed. Open Data is one of NSW's priorities in establishing this plan.
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