15 February 2022
Emil Jeyaratnam

Spatial data is the most popular type of dataset on Victoria’s open data portal. And Victoria’s spatial data is powered by the Vicmap platform.

Most Victorians will use data from Vicmap on a daily basis without realising it — when users access map services on a phone or computer, the chances are the spatial foundation data is from Vicmap.

Vicmap is managed by the Department of Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

What is Vicmap?

Vicmap provides and maintains the authoritative foundational location data for Victoria.

Vicmap was originally launched in the 1970s, part of a joint initiative between the state and federal governments to provide higher resolution mapping. The project produced maps at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales and by 1993, Vicmap had topographic maps for the entire state.

Since 2012, the Vicmap data has been made freely available to the public, primarily through the DataVic open data portal.

The Vicmap platform

Vicmap adopts the Foundational Spatial Data Framework, which was formally ratified by The Spatial Information Council for Australia and New Zealand ( ANZLIC) in 2014. The framework categorises foundation data into 10 themes:

  1. Administrative boundaries
  2. Elevation and depth
  3. Geocoded addressing
  4. Imagery
  5. Land cover and land use
  6. Land parcel and property
  7. Place names
  8. Positioning
  9. Transport
  10. Water

Vicmap is managed by the Department of Land, Water and Planning. The various data products are sourced from hundreds of datasets and actively maintained using a “data custodian model”. Vicmap works with various data custodians to collect and maintain data.

Vicmap Basemaps are available in three styles (aerial, cartographic and overlay) and in two coordinate systems.

The Vicmap catalogue and products

Vicmap has more than 15 products and services providing the authoritative source of Victorian location data. Some of Vicmap’s key products include:

  • Vicmap Address: 
    • Accurate and current geocoded address database for Victoria. Includes address details such as street number and name, locality, postcode (and state) and cross references to local government, Vicmap property and census district.
  • Vicmap Admin
    • Provides administrative boundary data such as local government areas (LGAs), suburbs and postcodes. Includes information such as LGA boundaries and names, postcode boundaries and numbers, state electoral boundaries and names, parish and township boundaries and names, as well as other administrative boundary details. 
  • Vicmap Planning
    • Provides data on planning scheme zones and overlays for the state, as well as defining Melbourne’s urban growth boundary.
  • Vicmap Property
    • A regularly updated cadastral map base that provides information about land parcels and property details.

Vicmap data can be accessed through a number of digital services. Users can search for Vicmap products through the portal, access the spatial DataShare directly, or use the Vicmap Viewer app. Victoria’s topographic maps can also be accessed via the Vicmap Topographic Maps Online service.

Vicmap as a Service

Users can now access Vicmap in the cloud via APIs and web services thanks to the new Vicmap as a Service (VaaS). Powered by the ESRI ArcGIS Online platform, VaaS allows users to access Vicmap data via RESTful APIs and Web Feature Services (WFS). 

The DataVic portal contains 14 Vicmap APIs (including a Vicmap Index API). 

As most Vicmap datasets are regularly updated (some with a weekly frequency), using machine-to-machine API services means users can access the latest, most accurate versions of the data.

Vicmap as a Service (VaaS) is powered by ESRI ArcGIS Online platform and most API services are available through DataVic.

Vicmap is continually evolving and improving — new analytical methods, new data sources and new technologies are incorporated to improve the accuracy and relevance of Victoria’s location data.

If you've worked with Vicmap data or any of the services, we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you have suggestions about what else we should cover — either related to Vicmap or another topic — please let us know. Get in touch via Twitter ( @salsadigital), or through our website.