Virtual Australia and New Zealand and other International GIS News
Australia and New Zealand
VANZI, the Virtual Australia & New Zealand Initiative, has been summoned into existence by the Co-Operative Research Centre for Spatial Information, the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, the Australian Logistics Council, the Municipal Association of Victoria and National ICT Australia (NICTA).
The new company's mission is to work with owners of spatial data to devise a way they can all share it more effectively and widely online.
It sounds a lot like Virtual USA based on Virtual Alabama. But it's not a fully governmental effort and its a bit crowdsourcy:
VANZI envisages individuals will create data about their own properties and Haines believes Apps will emerge to help individuals do so. He also hopes that over time a 3D model of every building in Australia and New Zealand will reach a database somewhere.
But VANZI won't host that database or provide an online service to access 3D models. Instead, the organisation is working on legal and technology frameworks to allow the sharing of 3D data and foresees a role for itself analogous to the bodies that facilitate transactions between banks so that creators of 3D data can share it among trusted and authorised partners.
The vision is to be tested late in 2012 in the Australian Captial Territory (ACT) before trying to roll it out futher.
Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) organizes "community mapping" projects in central Africa's Congo Basin. The goal is to mark land ownership for semi-nomadic peoples so governments won't give the land away to natural resource companies.
RFUK's "Mapping for Rights" program trains forest people to map their land using GPS devices, marking the areas they use for activities such as hunting and fishing -- as well as their sacred sites -- and the routes they use to access these vital areas.
The GPS information is used to create a definitive map of the land used by these semi-nomadic communities, which can be used to challenge decisions that see them excluded from areas of forest.
The Guaridan reports the French are going open data - at least a bit.
The open data movement has hit France with a bang and Data-Publica is a fantastic data-driven resource to all things French. Its data journalism section recently posted this: a guide to every French publicly-owned building.