NSW Government delivers location intelligence, via Google Earth


The state government of New South Wales, Australia has tapped the power of Google Earth to make spatial information about the state - maps, land parcels details, survey information, census data and much more readily accessible in a visually appealing way.

Users need version 7.0.2 or later of Google Earth and a free downloadable app, also available for smartphones and tablets.

The app also gives access to a similar initiative from the Queensland Government, the Queensland Globe hosted by the Queensland Government's Department of Natural Resources and Mines. It holds similar datasets to the NSW Globe: places, suburb and electoral boundaries, road and transport datasets, addresses and land parcel boundaries, tenures and associated information.

Land Property Information (LPI) medium to high resolution imagery and elevation data can be viewed easily along with private sector high resolution airborne and satellite imagery. NSW Globe also contains imagery datasets covering past and current emergency events for flood and fire.

A really neat feature is historic 1943 imagery, covering most of Greater Sydney. It is described as “a feature that provides a significant change detection tool and illustrates the value of spatial data.” With one click you can show an aerial photo of a suburb today, and what that location looked like in 1943.

Census layers displaying data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recently been added for suburbs and for local government areas: popups appear showing populations and dwelling counts.
Some of the layers you can choose to view include:

  • Medium and high resolution aerial and satellite imagery
  • Response imagery (eg flood, fire, storm)
  • Terrain data
  • Places (eg population centre, suburb, other places)
  • Boundaries (eg coastline, local government, localities, electoral state and federal)
  • Arterial roads, minor roads and others
  • Railway lines and railway stations
  • Properties and addresses
  • Land parcels by lot and deposited plan, property boundary and labels
  • Survey marks, CORSnet stations
  • Approved routes for heavy vehicles

The NSW Globe project is part of the Government’s Location Intelligence Strategy, established to provide a whole-of-government strategic approach to maximise the value and benefits of location intelligence.

Introducing the strategy, the surveyor general, Des Mooney, said: “The strategy sets a whole-of-state strategic framework for the innovative use of location intelligence. Government will be able to make smart choices about where to invest in infrastructure and services, business will be able to leverage location-based information for new products and services and the community will have mobile and online access to information. Better information will result in better decisions and better outcomes.”

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