Local government

Sharing Geographic Data

In Case Study by Lois Jewell

At a glance

  • GDA2020 became the standard for the exchange of geographic data between State and Local Governments in Queensland from 1 July 2020.
  • Clarita’s regional Council client moved swiftly to eliminate double-handling, uncertainty and errors and is one of the first Councils in Australia to complete the transition.
  • The change was achieved with no unscheduled downtime and minimal end-user impact.

Digital Cadastral Database Process Improvement

Throughout Queensland, the Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB) records the property boundaries and related description of all land parcels in the state. It provides the base for searching, planning and analysing land related information and is primarily used by most local governments for these purposes.

Clarita Solutions is working with one local government authority where the DCDB is the basis for many processes in nearly every branch. Its derivative products amount to over 100 datasets. For the last 15 years, the organisation has struggled with a complicated process to incorporate the DCDB from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) into their internal GIS and property systems.

The Challenge

Every month, it took three people approximately three days to fully process the DCDB. The legacy process relied on outdated and unsupported software, including several bespoke programs which were not well-documented, running on an old Desktop PC. It also used a non-standard and proprietary data format, which was not well supported.

The challenge was to unravel the tangled knot which included many complex, manual and error-prone processes which updated the council’s corporate GIS and Property databases.

The Solution

A much simpler approach was implemented using modern technologies including FME Server, Python, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and PowerBI.

Weekly, a python script downloads the DCDB as a file geodatabase from DNRME. An FME workspace extracts the DCDB and customises it to become more enriched and relevant for staff and their work. Nightly updates via SSIS integrate property data with the DCDB in the GIS which is further reflected in the organisation’s GeoCortex implementation.

Every day, property officers in the Finance branch update the property database as new subdivisions are made. The differences between local data and the DCDB are updated hourly in reports presented in PowerBI.

Finally, a new automated process was developed to email DNRME with all addresses within the local government area every week. This information is then incorporated into DNRME’s Property Location Address Database and disseminated to other organisations including emergency services and Australia Post.

The Outcomes

The new process reduces the risk of the legacy process failing, and adversely impacting dependent systems and workflows. It is completely automated, running on maintained servers without the need for manual involvement. It also utilises modern and open data sources from DNRME.

As a result, an estimated 480 hours per year have been saved by automating manual processes. Other benefits include:

  • More up-to-date data exchange between Council and DNRME;
  • Faster and more accurate integration of property and GIS systems; and
  • Increased reliability of the DCDB.