Home Technology Regulation National census shows Australia has just 4953 high-rise buildings
National census shows Australia has just 4953 high-rise buildings Pixabay

The PSMA, a commercial firm owned by the Australian states and territories, has used satellite imagery, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and data processing to create the first Australian national building census.

A statement said the census included details like the height, size, roofing materials, presence/absence of solar panels, and swimming pools all linked to official data like addresses.

The mapping was done using PSMA's Geoscape software. The census included the following findings:

Australia has 15,243,669 buildings, of which just 4953 are considered high-rise (over 35 metres), fewer than New York, Moscow, Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong;

In areas deemed urban, there are 1,279,438 buildings with swimming pools and 1,251,083 with solar panels;

South Australia is the most "built-up" state; SA the most "environmental"; NT the "swimming pool state"; Tasmania "the most rural"; Victoria "the densest" (and with the biggest buildings); and Queensland "the most remote".

The statement said the data was already in used by marketing firms, property developers and local governments.

Geoscape has captured all land and tree cover across the Australian continent’s 7.6 million square kilometres as well.

The statement said: "Geoscape is a digital representation of Australia’s built environment. It has linkages to other authoritative data, including addresses to provide detailed location-based intelligence.

"This dataset is produced with a combination of inputs, including over 200 terabytes of high-resolution satellite imagery from commercial Earth observation firm, DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and big data processing."

“This is a landmark achievement for data technology,” said PSMA Australia chief executive Dan Paull.

“Having essential, location-based intelligence mapped on a national scale for the first time will drive Australian innovation. People inherently understand that location, like time, provides a framework for analysis, revealing insights previously invisible. Access to detailed location data is essential for improving services for consumers, businesses and governments.”


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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