Case Study 6: Geographic Information Systems and the Auckland Area Orthophotography Standard

Local Authorities Working Together.

Who Is Involved?

North Shore City Council, Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Council, Manukau City Council, Rodney District Council, Waitakere City Council, Franklin District Council, and Papakura District Council.

What Led To The Joint Arrangement?

The delivery of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was identified in 1999 as a potential area for local authorities in the Auckland region to work together. As a result, a GIS working group was established. A GIS system encompasses a range of data and can include information on property boundaries, zones, underground services, kerb lines, protected areas, and other features. However, it became apparent that:

  • the local authorities used a variety of GIS platforms; and
  • data standards, and the accuracy, completeness, and types of data held, varied between the local authorities.

Local authorities invest heavily in their GIS systems, with a significant part of that investment involving the input of data. The data primarily relates to the physical land area within a particular local authority’s boundaries. There is little overlap in the data required by the individual local authorities, although data is shared with the Regional Council.

How Does It Work?

A GIS Working Group was formed and agreed to establish an Auckland Area Orthophotography* Standard. A Standards Working Group was set up to collate information about the current standards used by each local authority, and to prepare a draft standard. The draft standard was circulated for comment, and finalised in February 2003. The standard sets the minimum specifications for aerial photography.

The agreement of a joint orthophotography standard between the Auckland local authorities will enable them to begin aligning use of aerial photography in the region. Through the process of agreeing the standard, further steps have been identified, such as aligning contracts for the procurement of aerial photography.

* Orthophotography combines the image characteristics of an aerial photograph with the geometric qualities of a map.

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