Geoscape Administrative Boundaries is Australia’s most comprehensive national collection of boundaries, including government, statistical and electoral boundaries. Built and maintained by Geoscape Australia using authoritative government data, Administrative Boundaries comprises of 7 data products.
- Local Government Areas (LGAs)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Boundaries
- Electoral Boundaries
- State Boundaries, and
- Town Points
Our data products can be used individually, or in combination to understand Australia’s national boundaries.
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Datasets available in Administrative Boundaries
The ABS boundaries is based on each census that occurs every five years.
All other boundaries are based on continual updating of boundary modifications.
The Localities and LGAs themes are the most dynamic. Jurisdictions update their data continually and Geoscape publishes the updates quarterly.
Industry Use Case
Build profiles of suburbs and wider areas by combining this data with social, demographic, economic and environmental data.
Policy and Services
Develop more accurate socioeconomic and demographic analysis for policy development and service delivery.
Identify areas under threat.
If you are our customer/ partner, you can get in touch with our support team at email@example.com for any technical queries.
Additionally, Geoscape partners provide a range of commercial products, that uses Geoscape’s data products, including off-the-shelf and bespoke software solutions, consultancy and support. You can find more information on our partners here.
Geoscape Australia releases updates to datasets on either a monthly, quarterly or as–required frequency. You can find more information in the detailed product guides found here.
Boundaries covering external territories such as Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Jervis Bay or Norfolk Island are considered OT, generally, in accordance with the ABS classification of this area.
All datasets are represented using geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) on the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA94 or GDA2020).
You will need to construct the relationships between tables using the individual product guides.
While mesh block information is included in every quarterly release it is only updated every 5 years at each census when a new set of mesh block boundaries are created.
No. Collection Districts (CDs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) were part of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) used by the ABS between 1984 and 2011. The ASGC was replaced by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) in July 2011.
It is recommended that the Mesh Blocks 2016 (*_MB_2016) be used as a reference dataset as it is the base geography for the Census statistics that are currently available.
The electoral boundary redistribution process typically updates boundaries between elections. Whilst these boundaries can be finalised sometime before an election, they will typically only be adopted at the time of the election. Generally, only the active boundaries (those supporting the current Parliament) are included in this theme with updates applied at the most appropriate opportunity.
The boundaries used to represent each feature have been collected from official government sources. These sources create boundary representations using a variety of techniques, including:
- Tracing (digitising) from aerial imagery or paper plans
- Copying pre-existing representations of physical features (such as roads or rivers), and
- Field-based surveys.
The dataset does not include information on how the representation of any boundary has been collected or how far away it is from the on-ground (real world) object it represents. Irrespective of how the boundary has been captured, the general practice within state and territory jurisdictions is to record any boundary representation to the nearest 0.001m (1mm). This figure effectively describes the resolution of the data and is typically expressed using the terms tolerance and precision within spatial sciences. This value does not mean that all boundaries are within 1mm of the true representation of any feature.
All data within each theme contained in the Administrative Boundaries dataset includes representations determined independently by each jurisdictional authority and reflects their individual policies and responsibilities. We continually work with the relevant authorities to improve consistency and alignment. Some things to note on specific types of data:
These boundaries reflect the responsibilities associated with each theme, but misalignment will occur where each jurisdiction has different policies defining their area of responsibilities (eg. the distance of regulation out from the coastline). It is important to note that external boundaries should not be used as a representation of coastline.
As each jurisdiction has different policies for making a determination on representation, misalignment will occur. The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) is working towards the construction of a single agreed national boundary representation.
The Localities theme within the Administrative Boundaries dataset can have overlapping polygons where they have different CLASS CODES. . For example, within the Australian Capital Territory, there are gazetted suburbs as well as ‘DISTRICTS’. All classes of the locality are listed in the LOCALITY table under the LOCCL_CODE field. Filtering the dataset by selecting only gazetted localities (locality_class_code = ‘G’) will assist in improving the representation.
The dataset incorporates the best available data and, for some layers, not all parts of the country are covered. For example, there are no Local Government Areas in the Australian Capital Territory. Some parts of South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are not covered by suburbs.
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Administrative Boundaries is available under licence from the Australian Government.
- ESRI Shapefile
- MAPInfo TAB
Geoscape Authorised Partners
The dataset is also available under licence from Geoscape authorised partners.
Additionally, if you are looking at building next-generation solutions for your customers, Our partner program may be a perfect fit. Unlock the power of spatial data by choosing the right partnership for your business.