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UK Governments’ new Geospathial strategy

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UK Governments’ plan to capitalize on location data

Economies worldwide may currently be in a state of “shock” but it is also an opportunity for governments to act fast and identify potential opportunities for growth. The current climate can be seen with optimism if leaders are committed to unlocking the economic, social, and environmental benefits of geospatial data for the UK.

In line with the above, the UK Government has announced the launch of the UK’s Geospatial Strategy for the next 5 years, starting in 2020. The aim of the initiative is to unlock the significant social, economic, and environmental opportunities offered by location data and whilst at the same time, boosting the UK’s global geospatial expertise and knowledge.

The Geospatial Commission was established in 2018 by the government as an independent, expert committee responsible for setting the UK’s geospatial strategy and coordinating public sector geospatial activity. It was set up to take advantage of the significant opportunities that location data and technology offer to the UK.

As such, the initiative is primarily focused on discovering ways of taking advantage of the enormous potential of location data and identifying how they can, in turn, lead a declining UK economy into the new era, and stimulate recovery and growth. Accurate location can assist governments in rejuvenating infrastructure, level-up communities in terms of development, and limit damage to the environment. In addition, it enables the community and creates new, untapped opportunities for individuals and society to grow.

As Lord True CBE, noted:

In our digital world, we are surrounded by data. Information defines who we are and how we interact with the world, as captured by the millions of phones in our pockets and other technology. Innovation is inspired and informed by data, transforming how we live our lives. Location data is the coal and iron fuelling a new revolution. The government has empowered the Geospatial Commission to unlock the power of location data — equipping our economy to recover and thrive after Coronavirus and improving the lives of UK citizens. The creation of a national location data framework

with targeted interventions, aligned to the UK’s forthcoming national data strategy, it will help build economic, social, and environmental value,” added Lord True CBE.”

The Commission will use the strategy to increase access to data, build skills, and support innovation with an aim to achieve 4 key goals:

  • Promote and safeguard the use of location data to provide an evidenced view of the market value of location data, set clear guidelines on data access, privacy, ethics, and security, and promote better use of location
  • Improve access to better location data to streamline, test and scale the development of new and existing location data ensuring it is findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable and of high
  • Enhance capabilities, awareness, and skills in order to develop more people with the right skills and tools to work with location data – across organizations and sectors – to meet the UK’s future needs and support global
  • Enable innovation to maximize commercial opportunities and promote market-wide adoption of high value emerging location

 

The four missions are expected to boost innovation across various sectors including the maritime industry which brings an estimated £47 billion to the economy each year.

The UK’s location data framework has been developed to work in concurrence with the UN’s Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) and demonstrates the Governments’ continued commitment to capitalize on the benefits of Big Data.

Y Mobility, welcomes the initiative through which the possibility of bringing tangible economic benefits to key industries including transportation and leveling up infrastructure, becomes a realistic target. Nonetheless, it remains to be discussed as to whether data should be open-source and free at the point of use to both the public and private sectors.

Feel free to click here to read through the full report and strategy as published by the UK Geospatial Commission, or here to simply download the PDF provided. Alternatively, you can also contact the commission directly at geospatialcommission@cabinetoffice.gov.uk!

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