Spatial Information describes the physical location of objects and the metric relationships between objects – information fundamental to the lives of every Australian.
This new information technology field acquires, manages and analyses data that has geographic, temporal, and spatial context. It also includes development and management of related information technology tools, such as aerial and satellite remote sensing imagery, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and computerised geographic information systems (GIS).
Satellite images bring daily weather reports and provide farmers with information for precision agriculture; airborne infra-red scanners track our bushfires; global positioning systems monitor the location of thousands of trucks and taxis; real estate sales use geographic information systems; and maps of all kinds are produced, displayed and analysed using the technology that the wider spatial information industry provides.
The SI industry is a component of the broader information technology sector and has scientific and technical links to all other disciplines such as environmental science, engineering, computer science, health delivery, logistics, planning, resource management and electronics.
SI is found within applications as diverse as ambulance dispatch services; bushfire management; and commercial asset mapping - these are all core business for the SI industry.
Spatial Information as a Decision Tool
"Geospatial information is increasingly becoming the driving force for decision making across the local to global continuum. Tasks as varied as planning urban growth, managing a forest, "precision farming," assessing insurance claims, siting an automatic teller machine, routing [emergency] vehicles, drilling a well, assessing groundwater contamination, designing a cellular phone network, guiding "intelligent" vehicles, assessing the market for manufactured goods, managing a city, operating a utility, improving wildlife habitat, monitoring air quality, assessing environmental impact, designing a road, studying human health statistics, minimizing water pollution, undertaking real estate transactions, preserving wetlands, mapping natural hazards and disasters, providing famine relief, or studying the causes and consequences of global climate change, can be greatly enhanced by the use of some form of geospatial technology. The pioneers, builders, and specialists in geospatial information collection and management train in such fields as photogrammetry, remote sensing, and GIS."