National Building Data from Geoscape for Australia’s Researchers

AURIN works tirelessly on behalf of the research community to secure access to high quality data delivered through national e-Infrastructure to support high impact urban and regional research that addresses the significant challenges that Australia will face in the future.

Recently, AURIN has partnered with the PSMA Australia to provide free access to Geoscape for academic researchers at PhD level and above who are undertaking high impact urban and regional research.

AURIN have secured licences on behalf of academic researchers for PSMA’s Geoscape Buildings data.  Availability of licences is limited and can be granted to researchers via an application process.  This process is designed to ensure that the highest impact research will benefit from access to the data.

Geoscape Data

Geoscape Buildings data is the one of leading datasets of its kind in Australia, with currently 15,473,626 buildings (over 9m) nationwide. The dataset contains a digital representation of every building in Australia and a rich set of attributes such as building height, address, planning zone, roof type and material, and whether the building includes a swimming pool, solar panel or trees.

Access to this level of detail of building characteristics, features and material composition can allow researchers to investigate a myriad of topics.

Building footprint data from Geoscape accessed and visualised on the AURIN Portal. 

Research Projects Using Geoscape Data via AURIN

Australias leading researchers from a wide variety of discplines have already begun to access this highly valuable data via the AURIN Portal.

Healthy Housing

Researchers in Melbourne are examining how affordable housing and its neighbourhood context impacts health, with Geoscape data being used to generate new exposure variables to be used across multiple research projects.

Impact of Place on Brain Health and Cognitive Health in Mid- and Late Life

AURIN is supporting researchers in investigating how the characteristics of the places where we live (neighbourhoods and other frequently visited places) may impact lifestyle activities, brain health and cognitive health in mid- and late life. Geoscape data will primarily be used to measure environmental complexity (diversity in height of buildings) and to model traffic related noise and air pollution (e.g. information on building facades and type of surfaces in the target areas).

City Wide Noise Modelling

Noise pollution is excessive sound that can disturb human or animal life. In addition to transport infrastructure, cars, trucks, motorbikes, trains, airplanes, and construction activity all contribute to ambient noise levels in our urban environments. Studies from European and North American cities have demonstrated that traffic-related noise pollution is associated with adverse effects on health.  With access to building footprints,  construction materials and characteristics, researchers can enhance modelling of noise impacts on health and use this evidence base to inform policies on future construction and design solutions.

City Wide Heat Modelling

Over the coming decades urban populations will be exposed to increasing temperatures from global and regional climate change and localised warming associated with urban development and urban heat island effects. This warming will likely have adverse impacts on urban populations. Recent analyses have shown that increased exposure to warm temperatures results in negative impacts across an array of socio-economic indicators of wellbeing including income, crime, sleep, health, and labour productivity.  Researchers have accessed the Geoscape data through AURIN to examine outdoor thermal comfort, urban energy consumption, and climate change mitigation initiatives.

Research Driving Solutions for Future Challenges

In securing access to national datasets such as the Geoscape data, AURIN is supporting Australia’s leading researchers to address challenges we face as a nation.

In 2010 the Australian Government published the “Australia to 2050: future challenges” report, in which they stated the following:

“Australia faces significant intergenerational challenges. Population ageing will mean that there will be fewer workers to support retirees and young dependants. This will place pressure on the economic growth that drives rising living standards.

At the same time, the ageing population will result in substantial fiscal pressures from increased demand for government services and rising health costs. Australia’s population will continue to grow over time but at slower rates than in the past. A growing population will help manage pressures of the ageing population but will put pressure on our infrastructure, services and environment. This will require continued planning and investment ahead of time.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges to Australia’s long-term economic sustainability. Australia will be one of the countries hardest and fastest hit. Climate change threatens living standards through its impact on the environment and on the economy. Australia’s ability to meet these future challenges depends on actions taken today.”

Australian Government, Australia to 2050: future challenges, 2010.

Academic researchers are leading the way, seeking to solve the most significant challenges Australians will face in the future. AURIN is looking forward to supporting more high impact research projects by providing free access to Geoscape data alongside our 5000+ other datasets related to the urban form and population so that the research community can provide an evidence base for solutions to these challenges.

Apply Now!

If you are an academic or have academic colleagues researching in areas such as transport, housing, energy, water, waste, industry, employment, liveability, environmental health, service accessibility or any other field where Geoscape Building data can benefit high impact research, please access the application form here and apply now.

Apply for access now!

You can apply for this restricted dataset here:

This article was written by:

Aaron Magri
AURIN Contracts Officer

Aaron enjoys enabling researchers with new data to support high impact research, particularly enabling access to high value commercial datasets.

Please get in touch with Aaron to discuss any data you may require for your research.