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Datum Modernisation Implementation Project Positioning Australia in the 21st Century

23 Mar 2017

The ability to determine location through a smart phone or to get directions from a navigation app are just two examples of modern convenience provided by location services. Highly integrated within our economy, location services are dependent on government and commercial infrastructure.

Part of the government-provided infrastructure that supports location services is being modernised in order to meet the increasing demands for accuracy and consistency across Australia. Implementation of Australia’s newest national spatial reference system, the GDA2020 datum, commenced on 1 January 2017. This upgrade will provide confidence in Australia’s spatial information now and into the future.

The GDA2020 datum will enable progress and growth in the transport, mining, construction, agriculture and emergency management sectors which will require constantly guaranteed, highly accurate location to operate safely and efficiently.

The economic benefits from investing in a nationally-coordinated approach to location have been estimated at an additional $32 billion to $58 billion by 2030 from the agriculture, mining and survey sectors alone.[1] Since this estimate was made in 2008, new markets for positioning services have emerged which suggests the benefit would be considerably larger.

The coordination of national location initiatives is overseen by ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council representing the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia and the Government of New Zealand. The GDA2020 Datum Modernisation Project is an initiative outlined in ANZLIC’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan which describes how location data will be made more accessible to improve decisions by government, business and citizens.

More information on the GDA2020 and the Datum Modernisation Project can be found at: More information on ANZLIC’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan can be found at:

Datum Modernisation Implementation

[1] Economic benefits of high resolution positioning services, Allen Consulting, 2008,