The first step in this journey is the Spatial ‘Rosetta’ Stone.

Making sense of Ontologies and Vocabularies

A controlled vocabulary is a way to insert an interpretive layer of semantics between the term entered by the user and the underlying database to better represent the original intention of the terms of the user. Ontologies are the study of what kinds of things exist or can exist in relation to other things.

In context of Program 3, it’s our ability to search the internet using common words or phrases to bring up results that only relate to our particular search.

Simply put, if I’m searching for coffee in Carlton, I only want to see results for coffee Carlton (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) as it’s relevant to my location and my search.

By developing a controlled vocabulary we can insert an interpretation (or a layer) between my internet search [coffee in Carlton] and the database [] it draws upon.

The Semantic Web

The semantic web is an extension of the existing world wide web. It provides a standardised way of expressing the relationships between web pages. Its machine readable information that has a common format and a common language for recording how data relates to real world objects

Geocoded Addressing

Geocoded addressing – the converting of physical addresses to GPS coordinates – has becomes a vital tool for emergency response units, social services, insurance companies, telecommunications infrastructure, daily personal and business navigation and many more applications and uses.

Modernising Australia's Disruptive Datums

Datums are used in GPS systems to indicate a position on maps to its real position on earth. It is the reference point used to locate a place.

Australia's current geocentric datum will not be able to support the requirements of Australians in a spatially connected world.


Remotely examines the surface of the earth. Lidar data is the information captured. The information can be used to make high resolution maps such as globes.


A register (such as a map or survey) that shows property ownership (real estate) and boundaries in a district covering freehold and crown land parcels. Data includes spatial information such as spatial coordinates for land boundaries, area or size, road and street names, names of waterways, codes for local government.

The property boundaries and related property description of all land parcels are usually held by State Governments in Australia.

Local Government tends to use cadastral registers to keep track of:

  • Registered plans of subdivision and amalgamation
  • Government gazettes and administrative notifications
  • Strata, easements and boundaries of administrative areas.


Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth in lakes or ocean floors. So its really the underwater version of topography.

We use bathymetry to study seafloor terrain, contour lines, and depth to provide navigational information. At the CRCSI we use bathymetry in our work with the Pacific Island communities.