1259.0.30.003 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Urban Centres and Localities (UC/L) Digital Boundaries, Australia, 2006  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/08/2007   
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09/12/2008 Note: Correction to the digital boundary files of 'Section of State Range ASGC Ed 2006 Digital Boundaries in MapInfo Interchange Format' and 'Section of State Range ASGC Ed 2006 Digital Boundaries in ESRI Shapefile Format'. The Section of State Ranges '214' and '215' for Victoria were amended in both files.


ASGC Urban Centres and Localities Digital Boundaries (ABS Cat. No. 1259.0.30.003).


The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is a hierarchical classification system of geographical areas and consists of a number of interrelated structures. It provides a common framework of statistical geography and enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

The ASGC covers Geographic Australia including the external territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Christmas Island, but excluding all other external territories.

This product, Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Urban Centres and Localities (UC/L) Digital Boundaries, Australia 2006 contains the digital boundaries current for the ASGC Edition 2006 UC/L and Section of State (SOS) Structures (date of effect 8 August 2006).

The Urban Centre/Locality (UC/L) Structure identifies individual population centres, formed by the aggregation of whole Census Collection Districts (CDs) in accordance with specific population and land use criteria. The resulting areas are known as Urban Centres or Localities. The SOS Structure is designed to identify CDs which are intrinsically urban or rural, providing statistics for aggregations of towns in various population classes and balance of State areas.

The product includes boundaries of Urban Centres and Localities (UC/Ls), Sections of State (SOS) and Section of State Ranges (SOSRs) current at 8 August 2006. The digital boundaries are available only at one level of detail and align accurately with the digital base map data used by the ABS. These boundaries are intended for display in GIS and desktop mapping packages, and because of the high level of detail, they are not suitable for use in 'low-end' mapping packages such as those included in Excel and Lotus 123.

Operating Environment

It is important for users to be aware that boundaries released by the ABS after August 2001 are based on the geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA94). GDA94 provides an internationally compatible coordinate system for all geographic data and allows Australia to gain significant benefit from Global Positioning Systems technology. The transformation of boundary data to GDA94 involves a significant shift, of about 200 metres to the north east, compared to coordinates based on the older Australian Geodetic Datum (AGD).

Older GIS/desktop mapping software packages may not recognise this new datum and therefore boundaries based on the new datum will not necessarily align with boundaries based on earlier datums. However the GIS/desktop mapping software may have the capacity to adjust data to another datum when two datasets are viewed together.

Boundaries are supplied in MapInfo Interchange format (.MID/.MIF) and ESRI Shapefile format (.SHP, .SHX, .DBF, .PRJ). MapInfo Interchange format cannot be used for mapping directly, but is suitable for import into other GIS or desktop mapping packages. However, it is possible that limitations of individual software packages may make it impossible to import all boundary sets.

File Nomenclature

Each file name has the format <file type><01><a><STE Code> where:

<file type> represents the type of boundaries in each file

UCL = Urban Centre/Locality

SOS = Section of State

SOSR = Section of State (Population) Range

<06> represents 2006 the year of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Edition.

<a> indicates the data is at a high level of detail i.e. "all points" data

<STE Code> represents the ASGC State/Territory Code.

null = Australia

1 = New South Wales

2 = Victoria

3 = Queensland

4 = South Australia

5 = Western Australia

6 = Tasmania

7 = Northern Territory

8 = Australian Capital Territory

9 = Other Territories

File Attributes

File Type Attributes Type Comments

UCL UCL_Code Integer 6 digit UCL code
STE Integer 1 digit ASGC S/T code
UCL_Name Character (45)
SOS SOS_Code Integer 2 digit SOS code
SOS_Name Character (40)
STE Integer 1 digit ASGC S/T code
SOSR SOS_Range_Code Integer 3 digit SOSR code
SOS_Range_Name Character (35)
STE Integer 1 digit ASGC S/T code

All column headers show spatial unit type, spatial unit attribute and year of edition.

Data Quality

The ASGC Edition 2006 UC/L, SOS and SOSR digital boundaries are based upon the 2006 CD boundaries of the ASGC Edition 2006.

While the topological consistency of the data can be regarded as high there may be very small errors such as gaps, overlaps and bow-ties.


Refer to the files 1259.0.30.003 Metadata Proforma and GDA94_Factsheet.pdf listed with this product.


Information regarding the underlying concepts of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification and its Structures may be found in the ABS publication Statistical Geography Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification 2006 (ABS Cat. No. 1216.0). A publication is produced for each edition of the ASGC. Further information on the UC/L Structure, including code/name listings and maps, may be found in the ABS publication Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Urban Centres and Localities (UC/L), Australia 2006 (ABS Cat. No. 2909.0). This publication is produced for each Census edition of the ASGC.

For enquiries please contact the ABS Geography Section, see details below.

ABS Geography Section

Email: geography@abs.gov.au


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.



The Urban Centre and Locality (UC/L) structure of the ASGC groups Census Collection Districts (CDs) to form defined areas according to population and other criteria. The resulting areas are known as Urban Centres or Localities. This publication lists all Urban Centres and Localities defined within a State or Territory in Australia at the time of the 2006 Census.

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