Spatial information sharing for catchment management in Australia

Paudyal, Dev Raj (2012) Spatial information sharing for catchment management in Australia. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

Spatial information plays an important role in many social, environmental, economic and political decisions and is increasingly acknowledged as a national resource essential for wider societal benefits. Natural Resource Management (NRM) is one area where spatial information can be used for improved planning and decision-making processes. Traditionally, state government organisations and mapping agencies have been the custodians of spatial information necessary for catchment management. Recent developments in Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools and spatial technology have provided community groups and grass-root citizens with no prior experience in spatial technology with a new opportunity to collect and manage spatial information. With these opportunities, regional NRM bodies in Australia are collecting a significant amount of property and catchment scale spatial information. The access and sharing of spatial information between state government agencies and regional NRM bodies is therefore emerging as an important issue for sub-national spatial data infrastructure (SDI) development.

The aim of this research is to identify key factors which influence spatial information sharing between state government organisations and regional NRM bodies/catchment management authorities within Australia and to formulate strategies to facilitate spatial information sharing and hence support SDI development. The hypothesis is that the spatial information sharing in natural resource management needs to be improved and that a networked based spatial data infrastructure model may be an appropriate approach.

This research explored the theoretical foundation for SDI development and utilised social network theory to explore spatial information sharing arrangements between regional NRM bodies and state government organisations. A mixed method research approach was utilised where a survey and the case study data were collected and analysed sequentially (i e in two phases). The findings from the national survey of NRM bodies and the case study were integrated and interpreted to identify the key factors influencing spatial information sharing and catchment SDI development in Australia.

A national survey of regional NRM bodies investigated the spatial information access, use and sharing arrangements between regional NRM bodies and state government organisations. The results of the survey indicate that the spatial data access policy of state government organisations impacts on spatial information sharing across NRM bodies. The regional NRM bodies have a strong spatial capacity and are emerging as key players in spatial data infrastructure development in the natural resource management sector. An ongoing issue is the difficulty to locate which organisation holds each type of spatial data and accessing these datasets. Data sharing and spatial information management is a key area of collaboration and is based on the partnerships with state government organisations or community organisations. An emerging area for collaboration in the NRM sector is knowledge sharing.

The case study explored the effectiveness of the Knowledge and Information Network (KIN) project in promoting spatial information sharing arrangements between regional NRM bodies and state government organisations. It identified the role of intermediary organisations and professionals such as the Regional Groups Collective (RGC) and knowledge coordinators as being critical to improving the communication and spatial information sharing across catchments.

Using the mixed method design framework, the key factors which influence spatial information sharing between state government organisations and regional NRM bodies/catchment management authorities were classified into six major classes as organisational, economic, policy, legal, cultural and technical. Major strategies were formulated and it is suggested that the adoption and implementation of these strategies can facilitate spatial information sharing and hence SDI development across the natural resource management sector.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Supervisors: McDougall, Kevin; Apan, Armando
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2013 02:06
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2016 03:15
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090505 Infrastructure Engineering and Asset Management
09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090903 Geospatial Information Systems
12 Built Environment and Design > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120501 Community Planning
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23991

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