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The challenge

National data integration to improve exploration success

The AuScope portal provides valuable geoscience data to everyone.

Better data integration and new analysis techniques are essential to Australia's prospectivity, in order to make the country attractive to global exploration investment.

To allow for efficient data exchange between industry and government, platform infrastructure for easier data integration and virtual laboratories are needed. These provide access to varied datasets through one portal, enabling analyses to run in a cloud environment.

Our response

Developing data infrastructure and a national network

In partnership with AuScope, we have developed an open-access network of geospatial data (Auscope Grid) and supporting infrastructure (Spatial Information Services Stack) that are enabling industry and the community to explore Australia's geology on a national scale.

The Spatial Information Services Stack is a suite of tools for spatial data interoperability.

These tools provide geologists with a common interface to information across the country, including government and academic geological archives.

Through SISS we provide key tools that can combine datasets across organisations and disciplines.

Currently available on the SISS portal are:

  • AuScope Grid and National Virtual Core Library – providing explorers with seamless access over the internet to the nation's geoscience data
  • Geoscience Australia eResearch roadmap – evaluating the benefits of eResearch to ensure sustainability of services
  • Australian Spatial Research Data Commons – making a range of spatial data available to the research community using web infrastructure beyond the life of individual projects.

The results

Spatial Information Services Stack: providing global standards and underpinning policy

SISS is being used by organisations across the country – including Geoscience Australia, state and territory geological surveys and the Bureau of Meteorology – to significantly improve access to information that will drive successful exploration and make cross-discipline technical collaborations easier and more efficient.

Developed in 2011, it forms a key part of the Australian spatial policy in all states and territories.

Two standardised models to exchange information, GeosciML and EarthResourceML, have been developed and adopted by the international community. They now form the basis for European Union data specifications for geological surveys.

In 2016, Geoscience Australia launched AUSGIN – the Australian Government's geoscience portal – built almost entirely on the SISS national geoscience data infrastructure and the AuScope Portal.

National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)

AuScope is an Australian Government initiative conducted as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) through the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research. The SISS national e-research project is supported by CSIRO, the Australian National Data Service and the Australian Research Collaboration Service.

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