1270.0.55.004 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 4 - Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section of State, July 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/10/2012  First Issue
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Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 4 – Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section Of State (cat no. 1270.0.55.004)

Data Currency: 1 July 2011

Presentation Format: Digital boundaries


Custodian: Australian Bureau of Statistics



The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is a hierarchical classification system of geographical regions and consists of a number of interrelated structures. The ASGS brings all the regions for which the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes statistics within the one framework and will be used by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics from the 1 July 2011. It provides a common framework of statistical geography and enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

This product, Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 4 – Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section Of State, July 2011 (cat no. 1270.0.55.004) is the fourth in a series of Volumes that detail the various structures and regions of the ASGS. Its purpose is to outline the conceptual basis for the design of the Significant Urban Areas (SUAs), Urban Centres and Localities (UCLs), Section of State Range (SOSR) and Section of State (SOS). This product contains several elements including the manual, region names and codes and the digital boundaries.

The digital boundaries for Volume 4 of the ASGS represent the SUA and UCL/SOS, comprising:

  • SUA
  • UCL
  • SOSR
  • SOS

File Nomenclature:

File names have the format <file type>_<2011>_<AUST> where:

<file type> represents the type of boundaries in each file
                  SUA = Significant Urban Areas
                  UCL = Urban Centres and Localities
                  SOSR = Section of State Range
                  SOS = Section of State
      <2011> represents 2011 the year of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition

      <AUST> indicates the data covers all of Australia as defined in the ASGS Volume 1.

Within the files, the States and Territories are identified by unique one digit codes, as listed below.
Code State/Territory
1New South Wales
4South Australia
5Western Australia
7Northern Territory
8Australian Capital Territory
9Other Territories

File Attributes:

All tables show file type, file name, spatial unit field and the data type.

File Type: Significant Urban Areas (SUA)

File Name (s): SUA_2011_AUST

CountField (mid/mif)Field (ESRI shap)Data Type

File Type: Urban Centres and Localities (UCL)

File Name (s): UCL_2011_AUST

Count Field (mid/mif)Field (ESRI shp)Data Type
1UCL_CODE_2011UCL_CODE11Character (6)
2UCL_NAME_2011UCL_NAME11Character (50)
3SOSR_CODE_2011SSR_CODE11Character (3)
4SOSR_NAME_2011SSR_NAME11Character (50)
5SOS_CODE_2011SOS_CODE11Character (2)
6SOS_NAME_2011SOS_NAME11Character (50)
7STATE_CODE_2011STE_CODE11Character (1)
8STATE_NAME_2011STE_NAME11Character (50)

File Type: Section of State Range (SOSR)

File Name (s): SOSR_2011_AUST

Count Field (mid/mif)Field (ESRI shp)Data Type
1SOSR_CODE_2011SSR_CODE11Character (3)
2SOSR_NAME_2011SSR_NAME11Character (50)
3SOS_CODE_2011SOS_CODE11Character (2)
4SOS_NAME_2011SOS_NAME11Character (50)
5STATE_CODE_2011STE_CODE11Character (1)
6STATE_NAME_2011STE_NAME11Character (50)

File Type: Section of State (SOS)

File Name (s): SOS_2011_AUST

Count Field (mid/mif)Field (ESRI shp)Data Type


Date of Effect: 1 July 2011


Progress: Completed dataset

Maintenance and Update Frequency: No further update for these boundaries are planned. The ASGS will be revised in 2016.


Stored Data Format:

The digital boundary files are in MapInfo Interchange Format (.MID .MIF) and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format.

MapInfo Interchange Format can be imported directly into MapInfo and other common Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or desktop mapping packages. The .MID .MIF files are text format and can be edited and manipulated for import to less common GIS and CAD systems.

The .MID .MIF files cannot be used directly with viewing tools such as MapInfo ProViewer.

Access Constraints:

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia administered by the ABS.


Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94)

The digital boundary files have the datum specified as 116 (GDA94). Users of MapInfo 6.0 or later are able to load data sets based on GDA94 directly, without transformation. Earlier versions of MapInfo cannot interpret GDA94 correctly and there may be alignment problems between data sets based on this datum and other earlier datums.


Geographical (i.e. Latitudes and Longitudes)

Geographic Extent:

Geographic Australia.



Mesh Blocks (MB) are the building blocks of the ASGS regions. MB boundaries were created using various sources including the PSMA digital topographic datasets and ABS SLA boundaries, zoning information from state planning agencies and imagery.

Positional Accuracy:

Positional accuracy is an assessment of the closeness of the location of the spatial objects in relation to their true positions on the earth's surface.

The positional accuracy includes:

    • a horizontal accuracy assessment
    • a vertical accuracy assessment.

Positional accuracy for ABS boundaries is dependent on the accuracy of the features they have been aligned to. ABS boundaries are aligned to a number of layers supplied by PSMA with an accuracy of +/-50 mm. PSMA layers and their positional accuracy are as follows:
        • Transport and Topography
          +/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
        • CadLite
          +/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
        • Administrative Boundaries
          Derived from the cadastre data from each Australian State and Territory jurisdiction.
        • Greenspace and Hydrology
          Relative spatial accuracy of these themes reflects that of the jurisdictional source data. The accuracy is +/- 2 metres in urban areas and +/- 10 metres in rural and remote areas.

Attribute Accuracy:

All codes and labels for the ASGS 2011 SUAs, UCLs, SOSRs and SOS are fully validated.

Logical Consistency:

Spatial units are closed polygons. Attribute records without spatial objects have been included in the data for administrative purposes.


All levels of the 2011 ASGS SUAs, UCLS, SOSRs and SOS are represented.


Contact Organisation: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Contact: ABS Geography

Contact information:

Email: geography@abs.gov.au