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5 Top Tips for using key datasets for emergency management

The LGGA Committee has influenced some important data improvements over the last 18 months, as part of their contribution to the key datasets for resilience and climate change work program. Take a look at our five top tips to ensure your organisation benefits from these data improvements, and to help you prepare for the next event.

Toitu Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has collaborated with Stats NZ, NIWA, Fire and Emergency NZ, Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail to improve the 12 key datasets for emergency management. These 12 key datasets focus on people, property, transport, rivers, coast and land. Listening to our customers has been central to the success of this work, and we appreciate the ongoing time and support from LGGA, NZGIS4EM and NEMA.

Here's our five top tips to ensure your organisation benefits from the 12 key datasets, and the recent data improvements.

1. Use LINZ ArcGIS REST services for emergency data capture to enable data sharing

2. Quickly learn about impacted communities using Stats NZ population dashboard

3. Adopt national LINZ IDs in your own data to enable data sharing

4. Review guidance on capturing aerial imagery during an emergency

5. Keep on track with KiwiRail data

5 Top Tips for using key datasets for emergency management

1. LINZ ArcGIS REST services

Key LINZ datasets are available as ArcGIS REST services from This data provides valuable context in your emergency data capture apps, and ensures the data is accessible to any emergency response agency.

If you were an early adopter and used the LINZ ArcGIS REST services at, now is the time to update your connections to our LINZ Esri account Eagle recommends using to help with this. will not be available from 8th December 2021.

2. Stats NZ Population dashboard

Stats NZ population dashboard provides quick and easy access to complex census data. This is really valuable to enable your Operations Centre to identify and support vulnerable communities impacted by an emergency event.

3. Adopt LINZ IDs in your data

Emergency responses are often supported by multiple agencies, which means being able to share data is critical. Have you ever sat in a Coordination Centre Intel corner, spending hours cleaning address data, never mind sharing it? Well here is one potential solution.

Consider taking a look at NZ Addresses (Pilot) address_id, NZ Primary Parcels parcel_id and NZ Building Outlines building_id, and adopting these national IDs into your own, business as usual, datasets. These IDs will enable you to link information gathered during response and recovery across all agencies. Being able to link building damage assessments, with photographs, building consent forms and EQC claims will save time and provide better information for decision making.

Did you know that if you receive address, parcel and building data from a commercial supplier, such as CoreLogic or Critchlows, you can request the LINZ IDs are included in the data supply.

While looking at this data, don’t forget to check out schools and hospitals in NZ Building Outlines and NZ Facilities.

4. Review guidance on capturing aerial imagery during an emergency

Add a copy of these guidelines for requesting aerial imagery during an emergency to your emergency response Standard Operating Procedures. It will provide a handy checklist for the GIS response team, and help explain the benefits of imagery to your Controller and Recovery Manager.

We are currently improving these guidelines, to include aerial imagery data suppliers, potential costs and sources of satellite imagery. Let us know if you have any other feedback at

5. Keep on track with KiwiRail data

KiwiRail provide New Zealand’s authoritative rail data. Consider replacing your local rail data, using KiwiRail’s Territorial Authority attribute to filter the national data to your area.

Benefits for wider geospatial community

If you don’t work in emergency management, we still hope that you find the key data improvements valuable. Here are a couple of examples of where valuable outcomes have been generated for the wider geospatial community.

"We helped our Canterbury Maps partner, Mackenzie District Council, eliminate the extra headache, time and cost of maintaining data by adding the LINZ Addresses and Parcels from ArcGIS Online to their Mackenzie public map viewer.

“It only took 15 minutes to complete, yet reduced hours of work. A win win solution for all! "

Iain Campion, GeoSpatial Services Team Leader, Environment Canterbury.

In another example, Fire and Emergencies NZ published NZ Localities on the LINZ Data Service, as part of this work programme.

" Looking at the analytics, we can see major insurance companies, banks, geospatial consultants, local government, social sector, environmental agencies, engineering companies, tech companies, online sales, electricity providers and real-estate agencies picking up NZ Localities. It’s a pretty impressive list.”

Jonathan Ball, Manager Open Data and Reuse, Toitu Te Whenua

Can you help us?

LGGA has a strong influence on these successful data improvements, simply by sharing your user stories. Forget crypto, user stories provide valuable currency for the central government agencies managing the 12 key datasets. Understanding why it is so important to improve the data, and exactly how we use the data, is gold.

LGGA is currently working with Toitu Te Whenua, Waka Kotahi and NZ Police to open up the national, authoritative road network. If you have any user stories about the benefits or frustrations of using road data, please share your data user stories with us, as they really do make a difference - email either or

Susan Shaw is a Senior Resilience Advisor at Toitu Te Whenua


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