This article was originally published on 28 Jun 2019 by The Data WA Team
The DataWA team are thrilled to announce that a whole new range of geospatial data formats are now available in data.wa.gov.au. From today you’ll begin to see these new formats made available for data published through the Shared Location Information Platform (SLIP).
There are three new formats available for download:
- GeoPackages – a new open, non-proprietary, and standards-based vector data format that can replace the ageing and limited Shapefile format
- GeoJSON – a JSON-based format for vector data that’s popular in the world of web mapping and amongst developers
- GeoCSV – a geospatial variant of the venerable Comma Separated Values format, GeoCSV encodes spatial data in a tabular (spreadsheet) format using Well Known Text (WKT)
There are also two new data web services:
- ArcGIS Server Map Service – a modern API from Esri that provides image tiles and querying for web-based mapping applications, with similar capabilities to Web Mapping Services (WMS)
- ArcGIS Server Feature Services – another API from Esri that provides access to the underlying features in geospatial datasets, with similar capabilities to Web Feature Services (WFS)
You won’t immediately see all of these formats available on all of our geospatial datasets. Due to a combination of technical and format limitations, it is not yet viable to roll them out to all datasets. For example, huge and complex geological datasets weren’t going to be viable, or make much sense, as a GeoCSV file.
Alongside the new formats are a few small improvements to the information we provide about geospatial data:
- The Activity Stream for each dataset will now only be updated when the data is refreshed by the data publisher, or when the metadata on data.wa.gov.au is updated
- Each data resource will now have accurate “Last updated” dates that reflect when the data was last refreshed (remember this doesn’t always mean the data has changed – just that the latest version has been loaded)
The team would love to hear your feedback and suggestions about the new formats, particularly:
- Any feedback on the quality or structure of the new formats
- If there’s a dataset you would like to see the new formats rolled out to
- Your suggestions for other geospatial data formats and why you’d find them useful
As always, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.