Dr Stuart Minchin, Chief, Environmental Geoscience Division, Geoscience Australia

Digital Earth Australia and Precise Positioning: Location Intelligence for a Digital Economy


The federal budget for 2018/18 announced investment of $260m over the next 4 years for Geoscience Australia to operationalise Digital Earth Australia (DEA) and to deliver precise positioning to all Australians, bringing our GPS/GNSS accuracy down from 5-10 metres to 10cms everywhere in Australia.

DEA is world-class digital infrastructure that gives everyone, from government organisations to business, town planers to farmers, free access to thirty years of satellite imagery of the Australian continent, and the rich decision-ready products that can be derived from this data. The capabilities DEA provides will help to increase business efficiency, bolster profits and create jobs.

Improving Australia’s positioning capability is not just about improving location services on a smartphone. It’s about helping farmers reduce costs and waste, enabling the Royal Flying Doctor Service to land in more locations than ever before, making it easy to dock a cruise ship in a busy port like Sydney Harbour, and improving safety on construction and mining sites.

This presentation will explore these two programs and explain the opportunities that these will provide for spatial professionals over the next 10 years.


Dr Stuart Minchin is Chief of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia, which is the centre of expertise in the Australian Government for environmental earth science issues and the custodian of national environmental geoscience data, information and knowledge.

Stuart has an extensive background in the management and modelling of environmental data and the online delivery of data, modelling and reporting tools for improved natural resource management. Stuart represents Australia in key international forums and is Australia’s Principal Delegate to both the UN Global Geospatial Information Management Group of Experts (UNGGIM) and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). He also currently serves on the Editorial Board of the international Journal “Ecological Indicators”.