TWG Terms of Reference

ToR 1: Develop a transport data model with jurisdictions and PSMA in line with the ANZ Foundation Spatial Data Framework.

The Transport Working Group would look at providing subject matter advice on roads, rail, water and air into an integrated transport model in alignment with the Foundation Spatial Data Framework being developed under ANZLIC.

The Working Group would follow a similar process that was used for roads, namely:

  • Assessment of current supply side:
    • what does each jurisdiction capture against these features?
    • How are these themes maintained within jurisdictions?
    • What are the cross-theme topological relationships with other transport layers? e.g level crossings must lie on both roads and railways.
  • Assessment of current and future demand side:
    • is what is being currently captured sufficient for current business needs?
    • Are there other applications particularly in an integrated transport sense that may require additional information not currently captured? e.g. is there a business need to capture inter–modal transport hubs?

It is envisaged that the amount of work required to audit processes and develop a model would be far less than that used for roads, because the levels of complexity in rail, ports and air are far more simple than roads.

The TWG will not be responsible for the development of an implemented model for transport — this will lie within the bounds of the specific FSDF sub–project team on transport.

ToR 2: Review the implementation of the nationally consistent data model for road centrelines with jurisdictions and the PSMA. Learn from experiences to test relevance of the new model.

PSMA would continue to report back to the Transport Working Group on the implementation of the national model and jurisdictions would report on how the national model's requirements are being implemented within their own datasets.

Any inconsistencies which may arise through different interpretations of the national data model — for example, around road classification — would be dealt with by the Transport Working Group.

The ToR is intended to promote and maintain the data model to maximise its value.

ToR 3: Continue to engaging with other key government bodies and industry stakeholder groups, sharing expertise, and identifying areas and themes of national and regional priority for maintenance.

  • consult with the Permanent Committee on Geographic Information Management (or its equivalent) in identifying priority areas for maintenance of transport datasets
  • keep on top of changing user requirements for roads data, identifying sources of information to meet the data model and agreeing with industry on the role of government in supplying relevant components of the data model. It would do this by continuing to engage with industry and government groups including the Transport Surveying And Mapping Managers Group (TASAMM) and other representatives of road traffic and transport authorities, other ICSM working groups, emergency management agencies and private sector suppliers and interest groups.
  • Share expertise on the resolution of particular issues in transport datasets on an as-needs basis.
  • In conjunction with the Permanent Committee on Addressing and CGNA, develop and apply best practice guidelines around road naming. This includes assisting in the identification of how road names are enforced within jurisdictions and investigate how unique road names within localities can be created easily within jurisdictions.


There is an increasing need for improved road and associated infrastructure information to meet the demands of national security, emergency management, critical infrastructure protection, transport management and safety, and tourism. The responsibility of maintaining this information in government is increasingly being transferred from road transport authorities to mapping agencies, and collaboration is growing between government and industry groups in order to more efficiently capture and maintain road information. As a result, inconsistencies between various data providers led to the recognition that a nationally consistent approach to capturing, maintaining and distributing vital road information was required.

The ICSM Roads Working Group (RWG) was formed in May 2005 to address this need. It is made up of representatives from Australian and New Zealand mapping agencies, with other key government agencies, industry stakeholders and international bodies engaged as required. In November 2012, the group became the Transport Working Group (TWG) to reflect the broader nature of the work being undertaken.

Nationally Consistent Data Model and Business Practices for Roads

A national data model was developed by the RWG based on input from emergency management authorities, road traffic and transport authorities, industry and government users of roads information and implemented by PSMA Australia in August 2011.

summary of the model can be viewed in pdf format.

The implemented model can be found at

The model outlines the base level requirements for the capture of features and attributes required by these users. Under the model, individual agencies would continue to capture data to meet their own requirements using existing frameworks, but they also have the capacity to supply data in a nationally consistent manner where it becomes available. The model is based on the Harmonised Data Manual (HDM).

The TWG is keen to seek feedback on the model in order to improve its relevance and applicability to users of spatial data. Please email your comments to the ICSM Executive Officer.

National Road Classification Systems

In October 2006 the Roads Working Group released a report to ICSM on the Feasibility of a National Road Classification System. Read the full report Assessing the Feasibility of a National Road Classification System or the Executive Summary.

The RWG reviewed the recommendations of the report in 2008 and agreed to implement the recommendations as follows:

Recommendation 1

To further investigate the utility and practicality of a rural/urban segregation of the PSMA road classification hierarchy, through discussion with relevant road transport and traffic authorities.

  • RWG agreed that the urban/rural divide had potential but may best be handled by amalgamation with appropriately classified ABS meshblocks at a national level, or cadastral/planning data at a jurisdictional level. It will not form part of the data model.

Recommendation 2

To refine the existing PSMA Road classification to enable better differentiation of local and State roads through liaison with relevant government representatives.

  • Differentiation State and Local Roads - Research for Recommendation 2
  • RWG recommended that two fields – Authority and User Access – be added to the national data model. This will be based upon the Tasmanian road data model as follows:
    • AUTHORITY refers to the authority which is responsible for the road, and will consist of values such as State, Local, Other Government, and Private. It should be able to be maintained through links with the road traffic authority, local government agencies and the cadastre. In general AUTHORITY relates to the functional classification as follows:
      • Roads controlled by a road traffic authority will have a high functional classification (i.e. National Highway, Arterial Road or Subarterial Road);
      • Roads controlled by another state authority, such as a national park or forestry agency, will have a lower order classification like Access Road;
      • Local-controlled roads will tend to have a middle- to lower-order functional classifications (Collector Road, Local Road, Access Road);
      • Other roads will usually have a lower-order classification (Access Roads).
    • USER ACCESS refers to who is allowed to the use the road. This attribute will consist of values such as Inclusive (anyone can use the road), Authorised (users require permission to use the road, such as permits through restricted areas or purchasing a ticket to enter a shopping centre), or Exclusive (road is reserved for the use of the controlling authority). Tollways were later added as a separate value.

Recommendation 3

That additional variables of traffic volume, design speed, travel distance, route numbering, population measures and structural considerations, be investigated for possible inclusion as additional determinants of road classification type, either within the classification itself or in additional guidelines or decision trees.

  • RTA Road Hierarchy - Additional Variables - Research for Recommendation 3
  • RTA Survey Results_Spreadsheet - Research for Recommendation 3
  • RWG agreed that additional variables could be used on an ad-hoc basis to assist with classification, but these variables may not be consistent. RTAs will generally hold this information and should become more available as mapping agencies develop shared databases with the RTAs.
  • In the implemented model there are two classifications:
    • The functional classification refers to the purpose of the road and its importance in the national road network. This characteristic of a road includes values such as National Highway, Arterial Road, Subarterial Road, Collector Road, Local Road, Access Road, Pedestrian Thoroughfare, and Bus Thoroughfare.
    • The structural classification or subtype refers to how the road is constructed and reflects expected traffic volumes. This characteristic of a road includes values such as Freeway/Motorway, Dual Carriageway, Standard Road, Roundabout, Entry/Exit Ramp, Vehicular Track, Pathway, Connector, and Ferry Route.
  • The two classifications allow the modelling of roads which may be important in a national or regional sense but are expected to have relatively low traffic volumes; conversely it can model freeways and motorways which may be important within a metropolitan area but not so important nationally.

Recommendation 4

To engage road traffic and transport authorities to investigate the feasibility of the periodic supply of coordinated higher order roads network classifications from road transport and traffic authorities.

  • RWG agreed to use RTA-controlled roads to verify the identification and maintenance of higher-order roads in functional classifications.

Recommendation 5

To develop additional guidelines that contain decision-tree diagrams, supplementary instructions and examples that aid in the interpretation of road classification.

  • The RWG agreed to develop these guidelines further as the model is developed and implemented. This work is ongoing.

Recommendation 6

To consult with National Parks, State Forests and Indigenous Lands authorities to gauge their requirements for attribution of lower order roads for possible inclusion into a national classification, or in a separate attribute field in such a classification.

  • Vehicle Track Requirements - Research for Recommendation 6
  • RWG agreed to implement the results of the survey, which highlighted the need to differentiate between fair-weather vehicle tracks suitable for 2WD vehicles and 4WD vehicles. The RWG believes this survey should be re-undertaken in the future to capture any changing requirements.
  • The data model handles these requirements by using the subtype, surface, operational status and seasonality fields. (A separate field called trafficability was originally included but was dropped as it was found to be duplicating values in these other attributes).

Recommendation 7

To adopt a cooperative approach between all levels of government (to agree) to implement a mutually acceptable national road classification system.

  • This recommendation is ongoing. The RWG agreed to limit this in the short-term to within its members.

National Road Classification Systems - Review, January 2009

image of highway road

The RWG has also reviewed business practices of its members in regard to the representation of particular road features and attributes.

The recommendations for road naming have been rolled into the revised AS4819 standard. Refer to the ICSM Street Addressing Working Group for more details.

Related Projects


Similar to ICSM’s Roads Working Group, EuroRoadS is working towards creating a coordinated, colligate approach to capturing roads information across Europe.

Web pages of interest include:

EuroRoads logo