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SEED – the portal for Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data – has been developed with and for the community of NSW, as a central place for everyone to find data about the environment.
Initially containing publicly accessible Land, Air and Water data from NSW Government agencies, SEED will grow over time as more and different types of environmental data are added.
Who can use SEED?
SEED is for everyone who wants to:
- learn more about the environment in your local area
- see the data that is being used to make environmental decisions
- manage land and ensure its long term sustainability
- access data for research and advisory purposes
- help protect our environmental and cultural heritage.
How do I use SEED?
With SEED, you can search for environmental data and view it on the built-in map. You can overlay different types of data to gain a more complete picture of environmental conditions in a particular location. SEED also provides resources that assist you to understand the data, and links to the data in various formats should you wish to download it.
Information about how to use SEED can be found under the 'Help' link at the top of any page.
Why has SEED been developed?
SEED is an initiative of the NSW Government in response to community requests for reliable and readily accessible information about the environment.
The recommendation to develop SEED initially came from a comprehensive review into coal seam gas (CSG) mining performed by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Mary O’Kane.
The community consultation conducted for that review indicated that people wanted the ability to form their own judgements about environmental conditions and impacts – including but not restricted to those related to mining. Further consultation conducted as part of the SEED development indicated a broad requirement for environmental data across the community.
What is different about SEED?
- SEED represents a collaborative effort between government agencies to provide environmental data in a single source, rather than separately.
- SEED provides a medium to visualise data without requiring scientific expertise or specialist mapping software.
- SEED has been the catalyst for applying Creative Commons licensing to many data sources for the first time, for making data accessible in a standard format (through web services), and for improving the Metadata and Data Quality Statements that provide essential background information.
- SEED provides a medium for publishing and giving visibility to new environmental data.
How was the community involved in developing SEED?
In a series of workshops, representatives from a variety of groups with environmental interests provided insights into how and why the community uses environmental data, and advised on the functionality they would like to see. The SEED development team thanks the following organisations:
- Agricultural: NSW Farmers, Landcare, Meat & Livestock Australia, Cotton Australia, Dairy Australia, NSW Irrigators Council, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, Lower Namoi Cotton Growers Association
- Community groups: Lock the Gate Alliance, People for the Plains, Hunter Valley Protection Alliance
- Local councils and Local Land Services: Shellharbour, Bathurst, Narrabri, Central Tablelands
- Aboriginal Land Councils: Narrabri, Wanaruah and NSW Aboriginal Land Councils
- Legal: Environmental Defenders Office
- Resources industry and consultancies: AGL, Santos, EMM Consulting, NSW Mining
- Environmental researchers: The University of NSW, The University of Newcastle, Spatial Data Analysis Network (SPAN) at Charles Sturt University
- Spatial data specialists: Location Intelligence Advisory Committee (LIIAC), Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).
What is the future for SEED?
In order to deliver benefits quickly, SEED was conceived of and planned in three stages, the first of which is the portal in its current form. New types of data will continue to be added and, in the following stages, enhanced with data from industry and citizens.