Understanding APIs

On this page:


DCS Spatial Services have allowed open data access for all users by facilitating application programming interface (API) availability from the Spatial Collaboration Portal for most NSW Foundation Spatial Data Themes.

What is an API?

An application programming interface, or API, enables different applications to communicate with each other.

This allows users to connect to current datasets for communication, data hosting services, content management services and provides system automation. We encourage the use of APIs for making data integration easier and more streamlined.

APIs help us to:

  • share data freely
  • increase reach by 'collaboration' with partner agencies
  • save time and money, including data storage
  • speed up product development with open, easy access
  • empower users with access to government sourced data.

What are the benefits of using APIs?

Spatial Collaboration Portal APIs allow users to integrate the service on their GIS systems, websites and mobile applications. APIs can make it easier for all to access authoritative government data as means of publishing content. They also allow users to:

  • access data without the need for downloading and storing it
  • retrieve the latest available data
  • businesses can block anonymous traffic and control the number of calls made to APIs
  • access the wide range of government resources while maintaining security and control
  • allow third-partys to use information and services to create new and useful products that are beyond the scope and budget
  • open APIs enables implementation of authoritative data in their systems.

Access Spatial Services' NSW Foundational Spatial Data Framework (FSDF) data themes using APIs available from the Spatial Collaboration Portal.

How to use our API services

Source the data required by using the search and browse tools in the Spatial Collaboration Portal and select the Access API button or copy the URL for the page where the feature is available. Each dataset will include a description summary and metadata, with supported API formats including JSON, geoJSON, and PBF.


Terms for using our services

By accessing any available Spatial Web Services, you acknowledge acceptance of Services Web Services terms and conditions and Spatial Collaboration Portal Terms of Service.

Data access through API Web Services are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution by Licence.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Spatial Collaboration Portal APIs or our datasets, please contact us.