Open data opens opportunities

Article image - Open data opens opportunities Happy to see their work online for the public to use are Tweed Shire Council Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Analyst - Engineering Jessica Tunsted, GIS Administrator Sheree Scott, Supervisor GIS Celeste Lees, GIS Analyst -Strategic Planning and Urban Design Jacqui Batchelor, GIS Analyst - Assets and Infrastructure Lenny Moody and Manager Information Technology Kenneth Holdsworth.

Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales (NSW), has launched a Tweed Shire Open Data Hub, giving public direct access to selected non-private spatial data managed by Council.

Open data can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose.
The Open Data Hub includes spatial data such as land and roads, fauna corridors and vegetation, community facilities such as sporting fields, playgrounds, public toilets, waste collection, footpaths, cycleways and council buildings.

Much of this information is currently available for access via the Tweed Maps Online portion of Council’s website.  The Open Data Hub extends this access by allowing developers to directly download this spatial data for inclusion in their own applications.

Information Technology Manager, Kenneth Holdsworth, said the release of the spatial data was in line with the NSW Government’s Open Data Policy to increase public access to government information.

“We’re hoping to encourage innovative solutions with social, economic and environmental benefits, while demonstrating Council’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

“The Open Data Hub has endless possibilities because it enables people to create their own social or business applications.

“For example, playgroups can use the data to map playgrounds with facilities that best suit their individual needs.

“The data can also be used to inspire and develop many business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
“If people are thinking about launching a new business this year, the Open Data Hub provides invaluable local market intelligence.”