From our very beginning, PSMA was designed to be a self-funded public company limited by shares and that no government funds would be provided to support its activities.
A user-pays model was designed, which requires PSMA to generate revenue from its products and services in order to support its own activities.
Applying the user-pays model
Collecting, collating and maintaining data that is constantly changing involves significant infrastructure and resource costs in any context. For geospatial data in Australia, this is especially so as the land mass is extensive and the population small.
At the start of the spatial data cycle, location data is collected and maintained by the Australian states and territories at a significant cost. Taxpayers directly fund these initial data gathering activities, as they do roads, hospitals and other essential infrastructure.
PSMA receives this raw data and applies a sophisticated processing methodology to build Australia’s national spatial datasets. PSMA invests in the people, infrastructure and technology required to consistently deliver quality national datasets. These costs are recouped through commercial sales of the PSMA products and services to direct customers and a reseller network.
The price point set by PSMA for access to products and services is designed to cover costs and to fund future developments, not to maximise profit.
At the end of the funding cycle, a portion of the revenue generated by PSMA is paid to state and territory data contributors to assist in the funding of upstream data capture, maintenance and delivery activities.
The evolution of communications technology, spatial data awareness and utilisation, government policy and market participants combine to ensure the geospatial industry is a dynamic environment. Little in the industry is the same now as it was in 1992 when the concept of PSMA emerged. However, PSMA has evolved with these changes and continues to demonstrate that it can provide fundamental infrastructure for a digital world.
Benefits of the user-pays model
Benefits to government
- Foundation national geospatial datasets are created and made available to the market.
- PSMA and the national datasets it produces, cost governments (and the taxpayer) nothing more than the funds already outlaid for raw data collection.
- PSMA evolves with the marketplace, ensuring that it acts to fill a real market need only for as long as that need exists.
- PSMA delivers to government a small financial return, which can be reinvested in activities associated with data collection, management and maintenance.
Benefits to industry and the community
- PSMA’s continued existence is based on fulfilling the needs in the Australian marketplace, ensuring that PSMA is driven to provide data product and service offerings that are relevant to and evolve with market requirements.
- Competition (and the threat of competition) drives efficiency in PSMA operations as well as continued investment in the systems, infrastructure and processes that deliver the data.
- PSMA delivers to the market a high quality, government authorised set of foundation datasets for broad use by the user community at a cost far below the cost for individual organisations to achieve a similar result.
- This nationally consistent, single-source, geospatial base allows analysis, information sharing and solution development to occur on a common geospatial representation.
- PSMA’s funding and sustainability are independent of government budgetary pressures and policy decisions, meaning it can provide its products and services to the market with continuity, stability and longevity.