GDA2020 and AGRS metadata guide – bringing consistency in implementation of standards across Australia

Ms Irina Bastrakova1, Mr Joel Haasdyk2, Mr Byron Cochrane3

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia
2Spatial Services, Department of Customer Service, Australia
3OpenWork Ltd, Nelson, New Zealand

The reliance on positioning technology in areas like digital twins, in-vehicle navigation, automated mining operations and precision agriculture will grow as high position accuracy continues to improve. In Australia it means upgrade to the Australian Geospatial Reference System (AGRS) and GDA2020 datum which provide best support for this higher positional accuracy and enables accounting for the Australian plate tectonic shifts.

While the Australian governments, research and industry sectors were encouraged to work with the new datum, many of them struggled to understand how to be ready for it. The ICSM Metadata and Geodesy Working Groups joint effort ensured the development of a guide explaining how to document the transitioning process using the ISO 19115-1 metadata standard.

The ISO 19115-1 contains a number of classes and elements which help to consistently store information related to upgrades to new datum and reference system, and the history of data transformation. The ‘Preparing metadata for GDA2020 and the AGRS’ guide explains how to use the existing ISO19115-1 standard and XML schema for immediate adoption of GDA2020 and AGRS across Australia to ensure capture of correct data positioning information and minimise risk of incorrect position calculations into the future. It also provides multiple examples to demonstrate common scenarios for recording upgrades to GDA2020 and AGRS and history of data transformation to assist data managers and custodians with understanding how to apply the standard to their particular cases.

This guide illustrates how effective collaboration can contribute toward improved consistency of standard adoption while resolving business needs.


Irina Bastrakova is a Director, Spatial Data Architecture at Geoscience Australia.

Irina has been actively involved with international and national geoinformatics communities for more than 19 years. Irina focuses her work on maximising potential of multidisciplinary data assets by leveraging common information models, data patterns and vocabularies.

Irina is the Chair of the Australian Metadata Working Group and a member of many international and national geoinformatics and standards committees.

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