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Purpose of agency

To manage the Government’s property rights, location information, and Crown land

What has been released for re-use?

The LINZ Data Service (LDS), launched on 1 July 2011, delivers property & ownership, topographic, hydrographic, geodetic & electoral address data.

Data is available in commonly used location information formats and via a web-service using global open standards. Most is licensed for the widest re-use possible under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence (CC-BY) licence. Exceptions are layers of data containing property ownership which needs a special licence to cover protection under Domestic Violence legislation.

Future plans include capability to access data changes (to avoid having to refresh the whole dataset), and adding place name data from the NZ Gazetteer.

Reasons for release

  • the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy requires open access to location information
  • the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government requires high value public data to be licensed and actively released for re-use
  • responding to customer demand & market research
  • improving efficiency in the use of LINZ data across local & central government
  • data access arrangements were antiquated and did not enable easy re-use
  • stimulating growth & innovation based on using LINZ data
  • the cost of release was no longer prohibitive. Even so, the benefits from releasing data accrue beyond LINZ and the cost of releasing data outweighed the savings to LINZ.

Risk Mitigation

Misunderstanding or misuse of data

Providing metadata containing caveats and appropriate licensing, including mandatory terms of acceptance, minimised this risk.

Customer expectations

Potential risks included addressing increased demand for support services or improvements to the data, and market confusion about the aims of the LDS. Mitigation measures included engaging an industry user group, a strong communications plan, and active environment scanning for emerging issues

Breaking new ground

As an innovative project, there is the risk of under-use, or an inability to deliver to the New Zealand Geospatial Strategy standards, and resistance from industry, particularly those whose work may be displaced. The main focus to mitigate these risks was continued consultation throughout the project.

Costs and timeframe

  • approximately $525,000 capital spending over 3 years
  • $300,000 establishment operating expenses
  • estimated annual operating costs estimated of $457,000
  • approximately 18 months to complete the project
  • estimated savings over the long term across government agencies are likely to be between $680,000 and $1.3 million annually
  • LINZ will save an estimated $90,000 each year from discontinuing obsolete services

Economic and social impacts

  • The beforeUdig service uses LDS near real-time data to more efficiently provide accurate data to contractors about the location of LINZ assets. This reduces costs, saves enquiry time & work delays, reduces risk of damage, and avoids expensive repair work.
  • Landscape architect, Nigel Cowburn, delivers real cost savings to his clients by using LDS data to conduct much of the initial planning for landscape projects remotely.
  • Solid Energy uses the property boundaries and ownership data to review their own land as well as surrounding properties for mining acquisition planning.
  • BRANZ has integrated boundary, property & topographic data with their data to give the public information on earthquake & corrosion risk zones.

Efficiency impacts

  • Ministry for Primary Industries has integrated LINZ data into their online portal for calculating forestry carbon credits. This led to cost & time savings for government & foresters from avoiding errors in data matching.
  • Ministry for the Environment uses the LDS to discover & download a number of LINZ datasets, including marine maps. Staff can see some of these in MfE’s internal mapping system, YouMap.
  • Ministry for Primary Industries uses LDS data in their FarmsOnLine and Climate Change applications, complementing other data sources.
  • LINZ’s Pastoral Team has mashed up LDS data with other sources, making it easier & faster to respond to requests.  The Team has plans to share the mash-up with the wider pastoral community.
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council has integrated LDS data into their new regional map viewer, providing residents with greater insights into services & utilities in their locality.
  • Auckland Council is planning to use the LDS as it develops its Unitary Plan, which contributes to the Auckland Plan.

Transparency and democratic impacts

  • The University of Canterbury uses LDS data to teach students how to analyse & solve problems in forest management. This will lead to more participation in policy development in the future.

CC BY Re-use of this case study is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.