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Spatial Information Management Policy

The policy is implemented by Infrastructure Cook Islands, and sits under the Hydrography division of the Ministry.  The division is also now the GIS-Hub for all Cook Islands data sets on spatial data.

Cook Islands National Spatial Information Management Policy 2020 – 2030


Strengthened development, management and use of quality geospatial information for decision making and planning towards the long-term sustainability of the Cook Islands social, economic and environmental development.


The purpose of the Cook Islands spatial information management policy is to guide the development, management and provision of quality geospatial information and services in the Cook Islands.

This includes ensuring open access to available geospatial information with appropriate information handling and protection measures in place. Geospatial information is relied upon to inform a range of decisions and activities in the Cook Islands. Geospatial data is able to provide a visual geographical context. Spatial information plays an essential role informing sound evidence-based decision making and planning. The services provided by various Cook Islands agencies contributes to the development, security and well-being of Cook Islands people, assets/resources, sectors and endeavours. It is essential to ensure that the sharing of spatial data is guided by clear protocols which support full and open sharing whilst protecting the quality and robustness of the data. This includes recognition of data owners and protection of data to ensure individuals anonymity.


The scope of the SIM policy covers all geospatial information within the Cook Islands, the quality of data, its production, use and storage as well as the operating environment that facilitates the open access sharing of spatial information among all spatial information custodian, providers and public users.

The scope of this policy includes managing various separate and integrated spatial data layers within a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present (mapping) all types of geographical data. This includes vector data with spatial component or X, Y coordinates assigned to it; and raster data such as properties, streets, trees using air photos, polygons, lines and points.

This policy also encompasses the operating environment of spatial information. Direction is provided about establishment of institutional arrangements – roles and responsibilities; appropriate information technology infrastructure – hardware, software, procurement; and, personnel capacity development – technical and management needs.

The quality of spatial information is also covered by this policy. This will ensure available data is fit for purpose, accurate, precise, relevant and current while considering data and service limitations. It will also ensure information is securely stored, managed and protected using international standards and licencing agreements.

The term spatial information is used for consistency and encompasses references to geographic data and metadata as defined in the definitions. This includes geospatial, geophysical, geodetic and marine spatial data sets.