NTICI execution document for new project proposals

‘Capture once, use many times’


In 2004 the Permanent Committee on Topographic Information (PCTI) developed a framework to facilitate a cooperative, cost effective and mutually beneficial approach to the collection of Australia’s topographic information collection — this initiative is referred to as Australia’s National Topographic Information Coordination Initiative (NTICI).

NTICI was established to be a national collaborative mechanism to offset the on–going and increasing cost of topographic information data capture, revision and maintenance — effectively to achieve the common data management principle to: ‘capture once and use many times’.

NTICI recognises the different but complimentary roles and responsibilities mapping agencies play across all jurisdictions — Commonwealth, state and territory, and focuses on ensuring the data is managed by the data custodian.

Since its inception projects undertaken through NTICI have evolved due to changing government policies, business requirements and technology which have influenced the type of data captured and the methods used. Initially, projects focused on the acquisition of data for topographic mapping which at times were generalised to match cartographic specifications. Now, the key driver is the collection of rich information to support a range of user requirements such as:

  • the capture and networking of surface water data for auditing and modelling water security
  • the definition of Australia's coastline to determine maritime boundaries
  • the acquisition and analysis of high resolution elevation data products for flood mitigation and natural hazard risk assessments
  • the location of rural and remote buildings to better understand built environment exposure for natural hazard risk assessments and emergency management response and recovery

NTICI projects have been undertaken across all states and territories and have ranged from state–wide topographic feature revision to focussed regional updating of high priority man–made infrastructure. Projects have varied in length but are flexible and can respond to government priorities and drivers with short turnaround periods for execution to completion.


NTICI projects formally sit within the ICSM Collaborative Head Agreement (CHA) framework. NTICI projects are proposed to the PCTI for endorsement.

Value proposition

Over the past decade NTICI has developed into the primary mechanism for enhanced collaboration between the Commonwealth, states and territories, on mutually beneficial projects in a time of tightening financial constraints.

During this time ‘capture once use many times’ has been a guiding principle underpinning the value of this initiative. With the emphasis focussed on data acquisition at the highest possible resolution, all NTICI projects leveraged shared information, services and resources between the Commonwealth, states and territories. More specifically these included the provision of:

  • high resolution base data
  • best available orthophotography or satellite imagery
  • co–investment in coordinated procurement panels for remote sensed data
  • funding contract services for data compilation
  • targeted field verification
  • quality assurance
  • project management and coordination

All agencies have acknowledged the increased savings gained through the reduction in duplication of resources and an overall improved return on investment for topographic information acquisition. However, at the same time, all agencies have also acknowledged that more work needs to be done to maximise the value of future NTICI projects. This will be achieved by expanding the scope of future projects to target improvements to:

  • streamlining the data integration processes
  • development and implementation of standards
  • formalisation of the governance framework
  • accessibility and sharing of data
  • coordination and facilitation of business requirements into a rolling program

Successfully addressing these areas in the future will contribute to maximising the collaborative resources of all agencies and in turn provide increased value to governments at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels. The resulting capability will be an improved and sustainable National Topographic Information Infrastructure that will not only contribute to the National Spatial Information Infrastructure but will also form a consistent topographic information base for decision–making across all levels of government.


While efficiencies in data collection have been achieved the most significant and collective outcome for NTICI to date has been the establishment of good working relationships between PCTI members through the undertaking of collaborative projects. Using this as a foundation and working towards achieving the objectives described in the previous section, it is anticipated that the following outcomes will be realised:

  • Improved availability of up–to–date, reliable and accessible topographic information to meet the needs of government, value–adders, distributors and public users
  • Increased efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure on topographic information and related activities through coordinated data management and governance
  • Development and promulgation of standards and common processes to reduce inconsistencies in the national topographic information framework to promote interoperable access for users
  • Resilient jurisdictional capacity through sharing and exchange of ideas, skills and knowledge
  • Strengthened jurisdictional capability to sustain the collection, maintenance and dissemination of geographic information.
  • Reduction of identified overheads in the data management business processes, eg; data integration

NTICI Project Proposals

NTICI project proposals are welcome at any time. For proposals please refer to the NTICI execution document.


Project Description:

WA Rural & Remote Buildings Project Revision and update of rural and remote buildings, indigenous homelands and outstations

QLD Rural & Remote Buildings Project Revision and update of rural and remote buildings

SA Rural & Remote Buildings Project Revision and update of rural and remote buildings

NT Rural & Remote Buildings Project Revision and update of rural and remote buildings, indigenous homelands and outstations

QLD Surface Hydrology Revision of surface hydrology features

NT Surface Hydrology Revision of surface hydrology features

SA Surface Hydrology Revision of surface hydrology features

WA Surface Hydrology Revision of surface hydrology features

Data maintenance – ACT Data exchange and data maintenance

Murray — Darling Basin Elevation Collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) for the acquisition of elevation data over areas of the northern Murray Darling Basin.

Coastline Capture – Tasmania

Coastline Capture – Queensland

Coastline Capture – Northern Territory ‘The National coastline capture project is part of the process to satisfy requirements under the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973, the process is to accurately determine the location of the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea.’

Coastline Capture – Western Australia

Coastline Capture – South Australia

Coastline Capture – New South Wales