These are lightweight standards for Australian councils publishing open data. This is an open collaboration between councils, Open Knowledge Australia, MAV Technology, the Local Government Spatial Reference Group and other interested participants.
The Open Council Data Standards focus on making it easy to join datasets across council boundaries, to support research, app development, knowledge exchange between councils, and use by the public. They focus on datasets which are:
Street furniture is the collective term for equipment that serves the public, installed in outdoor space. It includes street lights, signs, bollards, seats, bins, water fountains, barbecues and picnic tables. It does not include buildings or things usually found within buildings, such as toilets, nor road infrastructure such as speed humps, median strips.
A financial report is a collection of spreadsheets put out each year by a council reporting on its financial activities over the previous financial year. It includes a balance sheet, income and expenditure statements, capital works programme and so on.
Several states have standard (Microsoft Excel based) formats in which these reports are written and submitted to a central authority. The OpenCouncilData standard given here is a machine-readable (CSV) format that closely mirrors the Victorian Local Government Model Financial Report. Councils in other states should follow a similar process for their state’s model financial report, if it exists.
Each of the different components of the report (balance sheet, capital works programme etc) should be published as a separate CSV file. We recommend publishing them all as resources (files) within a single dataset (CKAN package), for open data platforms that support that kind of structure.
Important: unlike the Excel-based format, CSV files should not include any subtotals such as “Total income” or “Total non-current assets”.
CSVs are grouped such that all the numeric values within one file have the same “direction”, and can thus be meaningfully summed. For example, liabilities must be subtracted from assets, so they are in a separate file.
All values should be in thousands of dollars. (That is, 300 means $300,000)
Do not include $ signs or commas.
Remember that category names containing commas must be enclosed in double quotes: "Plant, machinery and equipment"
Balance sheet - assets
This is the template to be followed, with a sample value of $1,234,000 for the first item. 2016 should be replaced with the current year, and 1234 represents the actual value that would be included (in thousands of dollars). Multiple years can be included as additional columns.
Category, Item, 2016
Current assets,Cash and cash equivalents,1234
Current assets,Trade and other receivables
Current assets,Other financial assets
Current assets,Non-current assets classified as held for sale
Current assets,Other assets
Non-current assets,Trade and other receivables
Non-current assets,Investments in associates and joint ventures
Non-current assets,"Property, infrastructure, plant and equipment"
Non-current assets,Investment property
Non-current assets,Intangible assets
Balance sheet - liabilities
Category, Item, 2016
Current liabilities, Trade and other payables
Current liabilities, Trust funds and deposits
Current liabilities, Provisions
Current liabilities, Interest-bearing loans and borrowings
Non-current liabilities, Provisions
Non-current liabilities, Interest-bearing loans and borrowings
Plant and equipment,Heritage plant and equipment
Plant and equipment,"Plant, machinery and equipment"
Plant and equipment,"Fixtures, fittings and furniture"
Plant and equipment,Computers and telecommunications
Plant and equipment,Library books
Infrastructure,Footpaths and cycleways
Infrastructure,"Recreational, leisure and community facilities"
Infrastructure,"Parks, open space and streetscapes"
Infrastructure,Off street car parks
Category, Item, 2016
Income,Rates and charges
Income,Statutory fees and fines
Income,Grants - operating
Income,Grants - capital
Income,Contributions - monetary
Income,Contributions - non monetary
Income,"Net gain (or loss) on disposal of property, infrastructure, plant and equipment"
Income,Fair value adjustments for investment property
Income,Share of net profits (or loss) of associates and joint ventures
Comprehensive Income Statement – expenses
Category, Item, 2016
Expenses, Employee costs
Expenses, Materials and services
Expenses, Bad and doubtful debts
Expenses, Depreciation and amortisation
Expenses, Borrowing costs
Expenses, Other expenses
Statement of Cash Flows
Category, Item, 2016
Cash flows from operating activities,Rates and charges
Cash flows from operating activities,Statutory fees and fines
Cash flows from operating activities,User fees
Cash flows from operating activities,Grants - operating
Cash flows from operating activities,Grants - capital
Cash flows from operating activities,Contributions - monetary
Cash flows from operating activities,Interest received
Cash flows from operating activities,Dividends received
Cash flows from operating activities,Trust funds and deposits taken
Cash flows from operating activities,Other receipts
Cash flows from operating activities,Net GST refund/payment
Cash flows from operating activities,Employee costs
Cash flows from operating activities,Materials and services
Cash flows from operating activities,Trust funds and deposits repaid
Cash flows from operating activities,Other payments
Cash flows from investing activities,"Payments for property, infrastructure, plant and equipment"
Cash flows from investing activities,"Proceeds from sale of property, infrastructure, plant and equipment"
Cash flows from investing activities,Payments for investments
Cash flows from investing activities,Proceeds from sale of investments
Cash flows from investing activities,Loans and advances made
Cash flows from investing activities,Payments of loans and advances
Cash flows from financing activities,Finance costs
Cash flows from financing activities,Proceeds from borrowings
Cash flows from financing activities,Repayment of borrowings
Cash flows from financing activities,Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
Cash flows from financing activities,Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the financial year
Statement of Changes in Equity
Additional years can be included as extra rows.
Year,Item,Total,Accumulated Surplus,Revaluation Reserve,Other Reserves
2016,Balance at beginning of the financial year
2016,Surplus/(deficit) for the year
2016,Net asset revaluation increment/(decrement)
2016,Transfers to other reserves
2016,Transfers from other reserves
Venues for hire are spaces that can be hired by members of the public to run private events. Typically they include town halls, community halls, auditoriums, meeting rooms, sports facilities and outdoor spaces.
“Facilities” are a broad range of services and amenities provided by the council which generally meet three criteria:
they are in a specific building
they are accessible by certain members of the public, at least sometimes
they generally involve interaction with staff.
The range of services provided varies greatly across the country. It would be very difficult to define a precise vocabulary which every council agrees on, so if none the proposed types fits your need, please use another, and please open an issue or start a discussion to suggest it.
Normal opening hours on each day, in 24 hour HH:MM-HH:MM format. For example: 08:00-17:30. Days where there is a break between opening hours should have their hours seperated by the pipe symbol |.
Normal opening hours on public holidays.
Free text description of the facility
If a facility fits equally into several categories (for example, a childcare centre is also a kindergarten), add the extra type here. If there are two distinct services housed together (for example, a childcare centre and a maternal health clinic), it’s better to have two distinct entries with slightly different locations.
A 3D model (not just outline plus height) of buildings and other physical features, used for planning, architecture and communicating proposed construction. Model files should be textured if possible.
A collection of 3D model files should be bundled with a point origin file, to correctly locate each 3D model file in real-world coordinates.
origins.csv (1 file)
one row per model, with latitude and longitude of the origin of that file
(modelname).3ds (1+ files)
one file per model. Each model must be oriented with north (increasing latitude) along the positive Y axis, and east (increasing longitude) along the positive X axis.
In the fields below, “council ID” means the text string identifying the council, given by the part of the council’s website before “.vic.gov.au”. Hence, “melbourne”, “geelong”, “corangamite” etc.
Autodesk 3DS. (It has many limitations but is widely used and understood.) CityGML is another emerging possibility.
[Council name] 3D Buildings
Required fields for origins.csv
filename of the model referred to. For example: buildings.3ds
latitude of the origin (Y value 0), in decimal degrees. For example: -37.5
longitude of the origin (X value 0), in decimal degrees. For example: 144.5
elevation of the origin (Z value 0) relative to sea level, in metres.
status of the physical building. One of: proposed (in the planning process, work not yet begun), construction, built (finished), demolished (demolition has commenced). If not provided, built is assumed.
text description of the building.
date of most recent update to this model file, in ISO 8601 format.
date of expected or actual finishing of construction, in ISO 8601 format. For example: 2012-12-11
council-specific identifier for the model.
source of the model as a whole. One of: AAM (AAM Group), council ID, architect (provided by any architecture firm), or other value as appropriate.
source of texture imagery. One of: Pictometry, Earthmine, Graphical, None, or other value if appropriate.
source of geometry. One of: Pictometry (provided by Pictometry), architect (provided by any architecture firm), council ID (created by the council, such as the GIS team), or other value as appropriate.
date of expected or actual demolition, in ISO 8601 format, or blank if none.
URL where model file can be downloaded. This should be a direct download link, not a landing page.
height of building in metres. For example: 44.5
primary external building material, one of: brick, wood, glass, concrete or other value as appropriate.
council-specific ID of building footprint separately maintained by the council.
council-specific ID for the building itself.
council-specific ID for the property housing the building.
Trees registers contain locations and information about individual trees within the council boundaries. They usually include “street trees”, sometimes “park trees”, but rarely trees on private property or in bushland. Reasons for collecting the data including planning future growth or maintenance of canopy cover, and managing risk of falling branches.
When information is available only as a range (eg, diameter is recorded as 100-150cm), the middle of the range should be presented as the field name, with an additional _min and _max. For example, dbh: 125, dbh_min: 100, dbh_max, 150.
If the information is only available as an unbounded range (eg, height greater than 5 metres), then do the same with no _max. For example, height: 5, height_min: 5.
Latitude, longitude, decimal degrees. (EPSG:4326)
Botanical genus, in title case. eg: Eucalyptus
Botanical genus, in title case. Leave blank if not known (not “Sp.”). eg: Regnans
Diameter at breast height (130cm above ground), in centimetres. eg: 60. (See General recommendations for ranges.)
Lower bound on year that tree is expected to live to. (That is, a tree surveyed in 2008 with useful life expectancy range of 10-15 years would be 2018).
Upper bound on year that tree is expected to live to. (2023 in this example)
Width in metres of the tree’s foliage (also known as crown spread). eg: 6 (See General recommendations for ranges.)
Height in metres. eg: 4. (See General recommendations for ranges.)
Common name for species (non-standardised), in title case. eg: Myrtle Beech
Where the tree is located: park, street, council
Council-specific identifier, enabling joining to other datasets. eg 9128
number of months, how often the tree is inspected. eg 24
one of young, semi-mature, mature, over-mature
date of planting, in ISO8601. eg 1998-04-02
date of addition to database or most recent revision, in ISO8601. eg 2012-06-08
Health of tree growth: one of stump, dead, poor,fair,good
Solidity of tree, unlikelihood of falling. One of failed, poor, fair, good
Any part of the scientific name below species level, including subspecies or variety.
Other information about the tree that is not its scientific name or species.
Locations of planned and unplanned road closures due to events, maintenance, natural events or other reasons. For maximum usefulness, this dataset should be updated whenever new information is available (perhaps hourly). Past closures should be removed from the dataset within a short period (eg, 1 day) in order to keep the whole dataset size manageable.
Line data is preferred (representing each segment of road that is affected), but points (general location of closure) and polygon (region in which all roads are closed) are acceptable.
If possible, sort the data with most imminent closures first.
The level of impact: closed (no movement), restricted (speed restrictions and possible lane closures), open (open, included if necessary to avoid doubt), detour (this line feature is a recommended detour around another closure)
Date of start of closure, in ISO8601 format: 2015-06-04
Time of start of closure, in ISO8601 local timezone format: 08:30+10 (preferred) or no timezone format: 08:30. For an unplanned closure without an exact known start date, use any time in the past. Do not use UTC format
As for start_date, start_time for the anticipated end of the closure, if known.
One of: Works (including road works, building construction, water mains), Event, Unplanned (e.g. emergency maintenance), Crash, Natural (fire, flood, weather)
Free text description of the reason for the closure or restriction.
Free text description of the extent of the closure or restriction.
Direction in which traffic is affected. One of Both, Inbound,Outbound,North,South,West,East, etc.
The most recent date and time at which this information was known to be current, in combined ISO8601 format (eg, 2015-06-04T08:15+10)
The source of the closure, eg Victoria Police, Western Energy
The number of minutes delay anticipated for motorists proceeding through an affected area. Can be either a single number 15 or a range 5-10.
The level of impact this is expected to have on traffic flows in the area, from 1 (minimal) to 5 (severe). This is intended to aid in filtering data for mapping.
A council-specific identifier.
A council-specific identifier for an associated event, if any.
A website link for more information.
A phone number to call for more information.
For works across multiple days, the time at which closure begins and ends each day, in ISO8601 local timezone (preferred) or no timezone format.
Polygon. Each polygon represents one area within which restrictions are identical. For parking on both sides of a street, two separate polygons should be used.
mode: see description in Time-dependent restrictions
The most recent date and time at which this information was known to be current, in combined ISO8601 format (eg, 2015-06-04T08:15+10)
The council’s identifier for the parking zone.
Time at which this parking restriction commences/ends, in 24 hour time. Times outside this range are assumed to be free, unless additional restrictions given. For example: 17:30
Semicolon-delimited list of days on which this restriction applies. If times are different on different days, create a separate set of restrictions for the other days as explained below. For example: Friday;Saturday;Sunday.
Semicolon-delimited list of one or more of: free,fee,loading zone,no standing,no parking,clearway, disabled
Maximum stay in minutes. For modes that imply no parking (eg, no standing), do not include this field, or with value 0 if necessary. To express the absence of a maximum stay, include this field with value -1 For example: 120
Cost in dollars per hour for the first hour of parking. If paying for one hour is not possible (eg, maximum stay is 30 minutes at $2.20), still convert it to an hourly rate (eg, 4.40).
If parking is restricted to a certain type of vehicle, provide a semicolon-delimited list of: motorcycle,bus,etc.
If parking is prohibited for certain types of vehicle, provide a semicolon-delimited list of: caravan, etc.
start2, end2, mode2, hourlyfee2, etc.
When different times of day have different restrictions, specify them with additional columns ending in 2,3 etc.
The organisation that manages this parking zone. eg Melbourne, VicRoads, Interpark.
Whether an electronic sensor detects overstays. yes/no
One of street (on-street parking), carpark
Options for physical payments. One or more of: card,coin,note. Do not include payment types for smartphone/web payments, which are assumed to support credit card.
The URL of a webpage with more information about parking in this area.
The maximum number of vehicles that can be accommodated simultaneously.
GeoJSON (preferred) in EPSG:4326, Zipped shapefile
[Council name] Garbage Collection Zones
waste-collection, ocd-garbage, ocd-garbage-2.1
At least one of the following fields should have a value. If multiple collection types share a zone, publish a single polygon with values in several columns. For example, in one area, rubbish is collected on Tuesdays, and recycling is every second Thursday. If the zones are different (even if overlapping), publish multiple polygons.*
Day of the week when rubbish is collected.
Number of weeks between rubbish collections. Leave blank for one-off or irregular collections.
Date of one rubbish collection, to calculate future collection dates from, in ISO 8601.
(optional) Comma-separated list of dates of future collections. Use this for irregular collections, or in addition to other fields to facilitate data use.
rec_day, rec_weeks, rec_start, rec_dates
Schedule for recycling collection, as above.
grn_day, grn_weeks, grn_start, grn_dates
Schedule for green waste collection, as above.
hw_day, hw_weeks, hw_start, hw_dates
Schedule for hard waste collection, as above.
a short name used by your council to identify a zone
“Monday Area 2”
A free text field.
rub_name, rec_name, grn_name, hw_name
A short name describing the physical bin used for that collection
Landfill bin (red lid)
rub_desc, rec_desc, grn_desc, hw_desc
free text field with specific comments about rules for acceptable rubbish collection.
rub_url, rec_url, grn_url, hw_url
URL pointing to a page with more information specifically about each collection. If there is no page specifically about a type, leave it blank and use the info_url field.
rub_scope, rec_scope, grn_scope, hw_scope
one of: all (all residents receive this service) optional (residents need to sign up to the service), booked (residents sign up for individual collection dates)
rub_ok, rec_ok, grn_ok, hw_ok
semi-colon separated list of things that can be included in this collection type.
Plastic bottles; tin cans
rub_notok, rec_notok, grn_notok, hw_notok
semi-colon separated list of things that must not be included in this collection type.
Nappies; car batteries.
The page on your council website with information about garbage collection in general. This can be an alternative to, or in addition to, a description field. e.g. http://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/residents/waste/
The phone number to call for a missed rubbish collection.
Is the surface a hard material such as asphalt, concrete or slate? yes or no.
The main construction material used to create the footpath. Use one of the following values where possible: Asphalt, Concrete, Brick (including slate, cobbles, setts), Gravel (including all graded, unsealed surfaces such as crushed limestone and chert), Sand, Natural (earth, grass, rocks), Boardwalk (including wooden and synthetic bridge decks) , Sprayseal.
The width in meters of the footpath. E.g. 1.8
Accessibility for wheelchair users. yes (no steps, suitable for unassisted use), assisted (occasional small steps navigable with assistance), no (significant obstacles such as steps, bollards or a steep gradient)
A free-text description of the surface and condition. E.g. “Gravel path with steps and erosion control channels.”
The name of the council or other organisation (eg VicRoads) maintaining this footpath.
Council specific reference id for the footpath segment.
Are bicycles allowed on this footpath? (Designated bike paths should be provided in a separate “bike paths” dataset.) One of: allowed (bicycles are allowed, as in most parks), no (bicycles are forbidden)
The date on which the event begins, in YYYY-MM-DD format.
A short name for the event, for example Hamlet in the park
A longer description of the event. This could include HTML.
Location using decimal degrees of latitude and longitude.
Location given as text, such as a venue or facility.
Street address of event
Start and end times, in HH:MM (24 hour) format.
URL of a web page with more information about the event.
Name of event contact
Phone number of event contact
Email address of event contact
Date on which the event ends, if multiple days.
URL of an image to accompany the text.
Council-specific classification of the event.
Free text description of cost to partisipate in event
contact - Name of event contact
contact_phone - Phone number of event contact
contact_email - Email of event contact
address - Address of event (Different to location in that location could be used to describe a venue (Stawell Town Hall) where address is a more detailed location)
cost - Cost of particiption in the event (Free text)
Dog walking zones are regions within which dog walking is permitted off-leash, on-leash, or not at all. Councils are encouraged to provide comprehensive information on where dog walking is allowed or restricted, including other sources of regulations such as state or national parks.
GeoJSON (preferred) in EPSG:4326; zipped shapefile
[Council name] Dog Walking Zones
dog-walking, opencouncildata, ocd-dogzones-0.1
Polygon areas should not overlap, with the single exception of the Default polygon described under name.
The default dog-walking status for this area, one of: offleash (also known as “free roam areas”), onleash, no (also known as “dog ban areas”)
A short name used by your council to identify a zone, such as “Fido Beach”. If the special name Default is used, this is taken to describe general default regulations for public areas throughout the council area, and should be on a polygon covering the whole LGA boundary.
free text field describing the source of the regulation in force. For example, Council or State park regulations
Free text field that could include more specific restrictions (eg, no dogs within 20 metres of playgrounds), information on dog waste management, etc.
Free text field with specific rules about off-leash dog walking (eg, effective voice control required).
URL pointing to more information about dog walking in this area.
internal council reference number, if any.
Free text field with specific rules about on-leash dog walking.
Free text field with specific rules about dog-prohibited areas.
a different status restriction (as above) that applies during a limited set of dates and/or hours. Outside those dates/hours, status applies. Either dates_1, or hours_1, or both, must be provided.
Comma-separated, slashed pairs of dates definining ranges during which this status applies (eg, 2015-12-01/2016-01-28,2016-04-03/2016-04-13)
Hyphenated range of 0-padded 24-hour times defining time range during which this status applies (eg, 18:00-08:30). (Comma-separated ranges allowed if necessary.)
An additional status that overrides status_1 in complex situations.
For example, these restrictions: “Off-leash permitted from 1 December until 28 February and during the Victorian Easter school holidays each year between the hours of 6.00pm and 9.00am. At all other times during this period dogs are permitted on-leash in this area. Outside of these dates dogs are permitted off-leash at all time”
A name identifying the centre. E.g. “Preston Customer Service Centre”
Comma-separated list of services provided by the centre. For example: “pet registration,parking fines,rates”. Possible values include: pet registration, parking fines, rates, planning, building permits, building permit, planning permit, engineering permit, general permit, infringements, licensing, pet registration, general tourism information, lodgements, keys, engineering permits, temporary car parking permits, collection/drop off, disabled parking application, fencing requests, local laws permit, pension rebate, stat dec, property information request(or other, please provide feedback)
Street address. E.g. “274 Gower Street, Preston, VIC 3072”
Comma separated list of non-English languages spoken at the centre (or provided by phone interpreter), in ISO 639-1 (two-letter) codes. For example: it,vi,zh
Free text description of accessibility. For example: “Fully accessible to wheelchair users; disabled parking at front.”
Some councils provide ratings on accessibility of buildings for wheelchair users. These ratings are in high demand by certain community groups wanting to choose venues suitable for all their members. These ratings may be available for only council buildings, or more broadly.
There are no known standards for this kind of data, and some councils combine them in different ways (eg, a rating of 0, 1 or 2 for the building as a whole).
Latitude, longitude, decimal degrees of centroid or entrance to building. (EPSG:4326)
Access into the building and its main services. yes: an unpowered, wheelchair user can enter the building and access public services without assistance assisted: a wheelchair user can enter the building if assisted. For example, a steep ramp, or a lift requiring an authorised operator. no: there is limited or no access for wheelchair users. For example, a cinema with a ramp entrance, but steps to individual theatres.
yes: disabled parking spaces are available no: there is no designated disabled parking
yes: toilets suitable for wheelchair users are available no: there are no toilets suitable for use by wheelchair users
A name identifying the building, organisation or business name.
The building’s street address.
A council-specific identifier that can used to link to other council-published data for that building, such as a building footprint.
Date of most recent accessibility assessment, in ISO 8601 (YYYY-MM-DD).
Text description supplementing the entrance,parking and toilets fields.