Data and securityGovernment seeks views on UK’s geospatial future vision

Government seeks views on UK's geospatial future vision

Geospatial call for evidence launched today, focusing on innovation, enhancing geospatial assets and driving investment

The government is urging the UK’s geospatial sector and beyond to share views on their future vision, as part of its call for evidence launched today.

The creation of the Geospatial Commission was announced in November 2017, to maximise the value of data linked to location, which could generate £11 billion a year.

By using location data, geospatial technology is transforming services across the private and public sectors to contribute to the #SmarterGov Government campaign, which helps deliver wider economic growth and productivity. From emergency services, transport planning, and 5G networks, to housing, smarter cities and drones – the UK’s geospatial infrastructure has the potential to revolutionise the UK’s economy.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, David Lidington, said, “The data revolution is changing the way we see the world and the way we live our lives – and this government is determined to make the most of the opportunities it presents.

“The launch of today’s call for evidence is another key milestone in the Geospatial Commission’s exciting journey. We want to hear how the use of geospatial data can support economic growth and productivity across the United Kingdom, while transforming how public services are delivered.

“This is crucial in helping to inform the UK’s first ever Geospatial Strategy, which the Government will launch next year.”

The Geospatial Commission, announced last November by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget, is an impartial expert committee within the Cabinet Office, supported by £40 million of new funding in each of the next two years, and will drive the move to use public and private sector geospatial data more productively. The Geospatial Commission is due to publish its first annual plan next Spring.

Location-aware technologies are revolutionising the economy. From navigating public transport to tracking supply chains and planning efficient delivery routes, the digital services built on GPS and the current mapping data have quietly become everyday parts of daily life and commerce.

Huge amounts of value have been created by the new services made possible using databases of geospatial information – maps, and the information linked to them like house prices or business addresses. This data, which government produces in the course of delivering public services and maintaining laws and regulations, can be used to stimulate innovation in the economy and drive the development of the UK’s growing digital economy.

The new Commission will draw together HM Land Registry, the Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the UK Hydrographic Office and the Coal Authority with a view to:

  • improving the access to, links between, and quality of their data
  • looking at making more geospatial data available for free and without restriction
  • setting regulation and policy in relation to geospatial data created by the public sector
  • holding individual bodies to account for delivery against the geospatial strategy
  • providing strategic oversight and direction across Whitehall and public bodies who operate in this area

The call for evidence document can be found here. The questionnaire can be found in word format here and as a pdf here.

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