The key objectives of the Geography Program are to provide leadership in the development and use of standard geographies (such as definitions of urban, regional, remoteness, capital cities and statistical areas) as well as providing geospatial capability, standards and procedures used in the production of spatial statistics. Together these activities form a “statistical spatial framework” which will enable the integration of statistical data within a geographical context.
Specific objectives are to:
- lead the development and implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard within the ABS and key government agencies, and to further develop and promote the Statistical Spatial Framework nationally as a mechanism for spatially integrating administrative data
- provide advice within the ABS and to other agencies on statistical geography and the Statistical Spatial Framework
- develop and apply geospatial capability, standards and processes to improve the collection, production, dissemination and integration of spatial statistics, and
- provide corporate geospatial data management, infrastructure, geographic analysis, mapping and geospatial support services.
The program’s key output is the publication of a series of standards, including geographic boundaries known collectively as the Australian Statistical Geography Standard
. Major publications include:
Volume 1 – Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Area
- The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
(ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.001)
Volume 2 – Indigenous Structure (ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.002)
Volume 3 – Non ABS Structures (ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.003)
Volume 4 – Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities and Section of State (ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.004)
Volume 5 – Remoteness Structure (ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.005)
Volume 6 – Correspondences (ABS cat. no 1270.0.55.006)
A web portal (www.abs.gov.au/geography) is also maintained that provides information on geographic classifications and supporting information.
Within the ABS, the program provides advice and support services, including:
- maintenance of the ABS Master Spatial Database, including incorporation of additional new sources of data
- providing enterprise geospatial capability including the corporate address coder and interactive spatial coder, and elements of the Basic Address Register
- geospatial support for the execution of the Census of Population and Housing and the Agricultural Census, and production of environmental accounts
- supporting the Statistical Spatial Framework Steering Committee.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- complete the development and lead the implementation of the ASGS – ongoing
- further develop and promote the Statistical Spatial Framework within the Australian government and nationally as a mechanism for spatially integrating administrative data – ongoing
- lead the engagement activities to improve Australia’s statistical geography infrastructure and support the development of international infrastructures – ongoing
- undertake a thorough evaluation of the Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) to inform the development and application of the Basic Address Register – Dec 2013
- undertake an evaluation of new imagery sources to support Census 2016 and other initiatives – Dec 2014
- develop new procedures to support the 2016 Censuses of Population and Housing and Agriculture, the Carbon Farming Initiative, production of Land Accounts and other ABS initiatives – Dec 2015
- lead the development of a geospatial infrastructure enhancement plan – ongoing.
Gemma van Halderen
Social Data Integration and Analysis Branch