[talk-au] Queensland Wetland Systems - building an empirical data dictionary

Brendan Morley morb at beagle.com.au
Sun Oct 18 13:00:01 BST 2009

Some of you have expressed interest in "cracking" the data dictionary for the Queensland Wetlands mapping data.  I've spent a few hours this weekend 
going through the web literature.  Hopefully I can distill the main concepts in a useful manner.

Firstly, the Wetlands/Streams layer at http://data.australia.gov.au/97 is borked - there is no shapefile included in the ZIP archive, therefore no geography to 
use or translate!

For the polygon area I have started a wiki page:


If nothing else, I have listed the reference documents that should shed some light on what each column means.  I've only started to write up the meanings 
myself.  I'll keep on updating these as I have time.

Also useful is a reference rendering, being the set of Qld EPA PDF maps available from 

As part of the wiki page I'll also add in some recommended transliterations between the attributes in the original dataset, and a tagging scheme in OSM.  
The data seems to support the following OSM features quite faithfully:

natural=wetland (duh - these are the Wetland Regional Ecosystems on the PDF maps)
  wetland=* (this can be mapped from the "RE" (Regional Ecosystem) type, e.g. a "wetre" attribute of "12.1.3" is basically equivalent to mangrove coverage)

natural=water (these are the Water Bodies on the PDF maps.  Larger reservoirs also seem to distinguish between full supply level and a typical level)

natural=spring (the literature refers to a springs layer but this does not appear to be CC-BY yet)

natural=coastline and maybe =beach (I can never remember if natural=coastline is supposed to mean high water or low water, doesn't matter, the wetlands 
dataset typically deliniates the intertidal area anyway)

Good luck everyone,

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