Queensland Transport eyes geospatial data sharing

With a geospatial information system calculating trip distances and fares, Queensland Transport - the department which manages all matters related to roads and travel in the state - is now looking to share more information with other departments to aid planning and government service delivery.

Business support analyst for Queensland Transport's innovation and business solutions unit, Simon Bobeldyk, said the department is hoping to expand applications in the geospatial area to improve strategic planning and data sharing.

"Geospatial can help get that information out to the public," Bobeldyk said. "Within Queensland Transport I see more use in spatial information because it's in the nature of what we're doing. It's a really good tool for showing people where things are."

Since going live in January last year, Queensland Transport and 12 private bus operators have processed about 9000 saved transactions. A saved transaction occurs when the bus operator processes an application form with a student's pick-up and school locations and a road distance calculation is made to determine the fare required. Operators can map the route if they wish and see travel distances.

The application integrates mapping data from MapInfo and is delivered over the Web so third-parties do not need to install any software.

"We first did a functional specification looking at different options and the easiest to administer was a central app over the Web," he said.

Bobeldyk believes the architecture can be extended as an online application for other government services.

"We have a lot of services systems and [want] better visualization of that, for example, where services may take you," he said, adding it could also tie in with Queensland's smartcard initiatives to move from paper to electronic ticketing.

"There has been quite an explosion with Google getting involved in the geospatial arena," Bobeldyk said. "That's an example of how you can integrate it and use the information day-to-day. Google has a nice platform and people are coming up with new ideas on how to use it."

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