Frequently Asked Questions


The National Environmental Information Infrastructure (NEII) is a federated platform that facilitates the discovery access and use of environmental information. It includes the standards and specifications that define it's core supporting IT components. It demonstrates the development of a national information fabric that supports decision making through the delivery of environmental data.

The NEII can support both federated and centralised approaches. The approach will depend on the nature of the data, the use-case or a partner's ability to establish an NEII node itself. It will be federated where possible, but centralised where necessary. For example because a database of environmental observations such as a time series of rainfall records for the continent at one hour intervals is relatively large, it might make sense to centralise this where network capacity or computational capability is greater.

Adopting a tested open source solution, such as the Open Geospatial Catalogue GeoNetwork catalogue application, enables partners to participate in and contribute to the NEII at a relatively low software cost.

Not in the short term. In the long term the partners with NEII compliant capability could provide data, vocabulary and metadata hosting services. This might be a sensible approach for large datasets to imporve speed of data access, where agency ICT policies preclude the use of NEII compliant technology; or where operational-grade service levels can only be offered by particular agencies or infrastructure.

Some of the core software components underpinning the NEII are routinely used in operational settings in Australia and internationally. For example, the use of GeoNetwork and GeoServer software is relatively abundant, supporting international spatial data infrastructure and environmental information systems.