The key objectives of the Geography Program are to provide leadership in the development and use of a Statistical Spatial Framework, including standard geographies as well as providing geospatial capability, standards and procedures used in the production of spatial statistics. Together these activities underpin the development of the “Statistical Spatial Framework” which will provide a common approach for all data producers and users to connect information to a location and improve the accessibility and usability of this information.
The specific objectives for the program are to:
- lead the development and implementation of the Statistical Spatial Framework within ABS, the National Statistical System, and internationally
- provide advice within the ABS and to other agencies on statistical geography, geospatial technology and techniques and the Statistical Spatial Framework
- develop and apply geospatial capability, standards and processes to improve the collection, production, dissemination and integration of spatial statistics
- provide geospatial data management, infrastructure, geographic analysis, mapping and geospatial services both corporately and through specifically funded work such as the Land Account, Carbon Farming Initiative and the Population Census.
The program’s key outputs relate to the core elements of the Statistical Spatial Framework or the development and application of geospatial capability in the ABS. These include:
- documentation and supporting material for the Statistical Spatial Framework, which is published on the National Statistical Service website (www.nss.gov.au)
- the publication of a statistical geography standard, known as the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), that consists of five volumes and supporting material, including the geographic boundaries
- a statistical geography web portal (www.abs.gov.au/geography) that provides information on geographic classifications and supporting information
- maintenance of the ABS Master Spatial Database, including incorporation of Public Sector Mapping Agencies (PSMA) data, including Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF), and additional new sources of data
- implementation of enterprise geospatial capability, including network analysis, geospatial visualisation and corporate solutions for address coding and validation
- geospatial capability and support services for the execution of statistical programs including the Census of Population and Housing, Carbon Farming Initiative support, the production of environmental accounts and data acquisition and collection.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- further develop and promote the Statistical Spatial Framework within the Australian government, nationally and internationally - ongoing
- implement a new ABS geospatial policy and further develop supporting material to guide both the implementation of the Statistical Spatial Framework within ABS statistical operations and the development of ABS enterprise architecture - throughout 2013-14
- develop new workload design and mapping systems to support the 2016 Census of Population and Housing - from August 2013 to June 2014
- continue to develop new geospatial techniques and data sources to support the ABS involvement in the Carbon Farming Initiative, including development of an Agriculture land parcel frame - ongoing
- continue to develop new geospatial techniques and data sources to produce environmental accounts - ongoing
- reviewing the scope and effectiveness of the 2011 ASGS and revising it for 2016 - ongoing
- develop and extend ABS geospatial capability for the collection, production, dissemination and integration of statistics - ongoing.
Graeme Brown, Assistant Statistician, Demography, Regional and Social Analysis Branch