SIBA is a strong supporter of Open Data and the need to allow better and easier access to Geospatial data including authoritative sources from Government and also value-added datasets from the private sector. Like LINZ, we believe that widespread adoption of the open data concept is key to unlocking the benefits of spatial technology for New Zealand. However we believed that there are more effective alternatives to syndicated procurement of a system to bring about the widespread opening up of data in accordance with the Open Data declaration. An example is to provide guidance and standards in the form of a national Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) rather than a system itself. The SDI allows interoperability independent of systems and allows organisations to make their own decisions in terms of Open Source vs. COTS; Products vs. bespoke; on premise vs. cloud while still achieving a common outcome.
SIBA proposed that SIBA and LINZ work together on identifying a common set of capabilities required to enable an organisation to participate as a provider of data. SIBA is motivated to provide valuable assistance through our members, their clients and other related organisations to help ensure that the benefits of open data are truly realised for New Zealand.
LINZ responded that they “appreciate SIBA’s support for open government data, and agree that a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is best practice in getting greater value from geospatial data” and were grateful for SIBA’s offer of assistance. LINZ advised that the syndicated contract is optional, and agencies are free to choose other solutions should they better fit their business needs. LINZ also indicated that the development of a national SDI is on the longer term strategy while the LINZ Data Service remains an important tool for making own data freely available and needs to be replaced in the short term.
A meeting between LINZ staff and SIBA executives occurred subsequently in February 2016. The group discussed the current priorities to promote awareness for government agencies to release their data and to enhance the uptake and maturity of the LDS. SIBA members are encouraged to promote to our government agency customers to publish machine-readable data licensed for re-use and notified on data.govt.nz to aid its discovery. The parties agreed that although it is perceived to be complex NZGOAL is still the mechanism for licensing data. Resources/expertise on NZGOAL licensing would be appreciated by SIBA.
The parties agreed that the meeting was positive and a good opportunity realised to align going forward
The following useful resources were provided by LINZ:
The New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles: https://www.ict.govt.nz/guidance-and-resources/open-government/new-zealand-data-and-information-management-principles/
The Declaration on Open and Transparent Government: https://www.ict.govt.nz/guidance-and-resources/open-government/declaration-open-and-transparent-government/