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New partnership maps out improved data-sharing

A more current and comprehensive record of Western Australia's land surface and features will be the product of a new partnership between Landgate and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).

The two agencies will consolidate information from their separate topographic data sets into one database, providing a common source of this information for the State. This will reduce costs, duplication, inconsistencies and time spent on maintenance.

Landgate Manager, Location Knowledge Services, Lesley Arnold said the collaboration would result in a richer record of Western Australia's roads, water courses, infrastructure and terrain.

"Landgate is the Western Australian Land Information Authority and its topographic database was designed to be a state-wide model," Dr Arnold said.

"However, DEC's data set has information specific to maintaining and managing its assets, such as roads, camping grounds, picnic sites, rest areas and bush tracks."

Landgate and DEC's data sets are currently maintained in isolation, with the agencies touching base infrequently for information updates.

DEC Manager, Geographic Information Services Operations, Richard Ford said DEC staff will now be able to update Landgate's database externally, enabling changes to be integrated immediately.

"DEC staff are best placed to ensure that topographic data over their area of management is correct," Mr Ford said.

"This collaborative approach will progressively eliminate the inconsistencies that result from disparate data sets being managed and used by different agencies."

A permanent and automatically updated replica of Landgate's database will be housed on the DEC network to allow DEC staff full time access to the most current information for their business needs.

Landgate Chief Executive, Mike Bradford said the partnership aligned to objectives in Western Australia's Location Information Strategy, which aims to maximise the value of location information to the State.

"This project will streamline the way we capture topographic information, and improve the quality and currency of data," Mr Bradford said.

"Improved data enables government, industry, emergency services and the wider community to make better decisions."