Original content provided by ehx — last modified Apr 05, 2019 07:12 AM
A guide to using the new Spatial Data Broker, a subscription service offered by certain NT Government agencies allowing private users to download vector (e.g. shapefile / tab file) spatial data.
This option is best for people who require a regular supply of spatial information (daily, weekly or monthly). If you require a once off purchase, a 6 month or yearly supply of data, please refer to Purchasing Spatial Data from the NT Government
The Northern Territory Land Information System (NTLIS) has developed a mechanism allowing non-NT government users to download the latest spatial information datasets directly from our dissemination databases. Previously this has required a manual, request based extraction and delivery process.
This mechanism is called the Spatial Data Broker, and provides authentication and data delivery functionality to users via the Internet.
End users are required to establish licence agreements with a range of NT Government data custodians entitling them to a list of layers appropriate for their needs. Users can choose to subscribe to only a subset of the total set of attributes available on a layer and/or only a certain spatial extent, possibly lowering the cost of subscription.
During a subscription, the latest data can be downloaded as often as required, ensuring the user has the most up-to-date information for their projects.
Note that some data is available from the NT Government in the form of free web services. For information about this visit:
The Spatial Data Broker is not intended to handle once-off data delivery requests. For once-off data requests, see Purchasing Spatial Data from the NT Government
Currently there are two participating NT Government agencies, the Department of Lands and Planning and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport.
For a listing of the data currently available via the Spatial Data Broker:
Note this is not the total list of spatial datasets available from the NT Government, they are the ones readily available via the Spatial Data Broker. For a total list of datasets visit ILIS Maps, NRETAS Maps or the NT Atlas and use the 'Spatial Dataset Search' tab of the Northern Territory Spatial Data Directory (NTSDD).
Please note that all Government users by default have access to a defined list of unrestricted spatial data. If you are a government spatial data custodian and would like to make a dataset available to certain approved users, you will need an account with the Spatial Data Broker. To discuss how to obtain an account please contact email@example.com
Geological, Mining and Tenament Information
The Department of Resources maintain the Titles Information System (TIS) and Strike. All information (including purchasing/downloading) relating to Geology, Minerals and Mining Tenament and Mining (including Exploration Licencing and Petrolium Tenure) can be found here
Obtaining a Subscription
The Spatial Data Broker does not accept payments, and is not intended to handle once-off data delivery requests at this time. For more information refer to
The Spatial Data Broker is appropriate for users who require a regular supply of a selection of datasets, based on existing arrangements with data custodians.
If you are a user from outside the NT Government Departments
To subscribe to a dataset, you will firstly need an account with the Integrated Land Information System (ILIS).. many spatial data users in the Northern Territory will already have one of these. An ILIS account currently costs nothing and can be obtained from ILIS Support. An ILIS SSL certificate needs to be installed on their PC in order to access ILIS and use the Spatial Data Download facility.
Once you have a working ILIS account, you need to contact the custodian(s) of the data and negotiate a data licence agreement that includes:
- the layers (from that agency / custodian) that you require
- the attributes for each of those layers
- the spatial extent for each of those layers
- the date of expiry (if any) of the licence agreement
You may need to establish a number of agreements with a number of agencies. However, once set up the total list of datasets you are entitled to will be available for download from a single location, regardless of origin. Note that a data licence agreement may have an expiry date, if so after that date certain layers will cease to download.
Government Department Users
By Default, users within NT Government Departments have access to a predefined unrestricted list of spatial data available through the Spatial Data Download facility. There is no requirement to have an ILIS Account. Users can access ILIS Maps directly and use the Data Download Form ( read on for more information on the data download form, including how to use it)
Contact ILIS Support for more information.
Once you have subscribed to one or more datasets you can download them for the length of your subscription period in two different ways;
- Data Download Form; or
- Auto Downloader.
Accessing Data: Data Download Form
For immediate extractions data can be downloaded from the ILIS Maps web mapping application. ILIS Maps is a companion to ILIS, (the Integrated Land Information System).
More information about ILIS can be found here:
In order to use ILIS you must first set up an account (external Department users only). Establishing an account and connecting to ILIS Maps is free.
ILIS Maps can be launched from ILIS using the link in the left hand Menu. Note that, as mentioned above, to connect to ILIS you must first setup an account. If you cannot login to ILIS, you will not be able to download spatial data.
Figure 1: ILIS Maps link in ILIS
Once in ILISMaps, click the Spatial Data Download button: to bring up the Data Download Form. In this form you can choose the layers, GIS file format, coordinate system and extent you require.
Figure 2: Spatial Data Download Form
To download layers, go to Download Layers and tick the box corresponding to the layer(s) you wish to download. Click 'Add Layers' button and the layer(s) appears in the Selected Layers List.
Clicking 'Download Selected Layers' will start the extraction, and you will then be presented with a zip file containing the data and respective metadata documents according to your request.
Note that the extraction and delivery process may take a while, you may need to minimise your browser window and leave it for a few minutes for large (whole of NT) extracts.
In Download Properties, the 'Set Visible Extent' will populate the Coodinates based on the extents shown in the ILIS Maps map window. This is great if the map shows an area of interest to which you want layers for that area only. The 'Set Full Extent' button will populate the coordinate region that covers the entire Northern Territory.
A drop down list allows users to choose their download output format, including common GIS/CAD formats (shapefile, mapinfo table, select many different types of download formats, including common GIS formats (.shp and .tab), CAD formats (.dwg/dwf, .dgn) and even CSV (for attribute data only)
Accessing Data: Automated Downloader
Some users may wish to populate a local file store periodically on an automatic basis, ensuring the latest data is in their organisation without manual intervention. For this purpose NTLIS have built the Automated Downloader. The Automated Downloader can be scheduled to run periodically on your local server or PC to effectively visit the data download form, choose layers and other parameters and unzip the results to a specified local directory. This ensures that the latest data is available locally without any form of intervention by the end user.
Obtaining the Auto Downloader
The latest version of the tool can be downloaded from here:
Simply unzip the install file (above) to a folder on the machine that will be performing the download.
Building a configuration file
The Auto Downloader takes a XML config file as a parameter defining the layers, extent, format, projection and user name / password details.
Here is a sample configuration file, copy and paste this into a new text document on your downloader machine and edit its details to suit your needs. There is a sample configuration file included in the installable zip file above, you may wish to simply edit that one.
Executing the Auto Downloader
Save modified configuration file in the same directory as the tool and call it something like 'mySpatialDownloadConfigFile.cfg',
Then, from the same directory run:
This should download your data and extract it into the output location you have specified.
If you get an error similar to:
then you probably do not have the 'java' program in your PATH environmental variable. Contact your technical support person for help fixing this.
Need help ?
Any questions relating to the Spatial Data Broker please contact GIS Support.