The UK has released its new geospatial data strategy aimed at unlocking the power of location data by increasing data access, developing skills and supporting innovation across the country’s geospatial community.
The strategy, drawn up by the Geospatial Commission, sets out key steps that it believes will help to tap into location data across land and sea - building economic, social and environmental value for the UK.
The four key commitments are:
- To 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 data.
- To improve access to better location data to streamline, test and scale the development of new and existing location data ensuring it is accessible, interoperable, reusable and of high quality.
- To enhance capabilities, skills and awareness to develop more people with the right skills and tools to work with location data, across organisations and sectors, to meet the UK’s future needs and support global development. This also includes plans to develop geospatial apprenticeships in the public and private sectors and pilot an International Geospatial Service to showcase UK expertise around the world.
- To enable innovation to maximise commercial opportunities and promote market-wide adoption of high value emerging location technologies.
The strategy also points to nine areas in which location data will have a significant impact – infrastructure, transport, housing, environment, public health, emergency response, ocean economy, retail and finance – all of which could benefit from the national framework.
Cabinet Office Minister Lord True said: "Rapid technological advances over the last 15 years have put sat navs in cars, maps on our phones, wearable sensors around our wrists and smart devices in our homes – all of which are integral to millions of lives. The application of location data is critical for navigating our new digital world, and for making the UK a better place for everyone.
"As well as making everyday lives easier, location data has the potential to unite and level up the country – by connecting people, organisations and services. This Government will unleash Britain’s potential to lead the world in the data revolution, and keep us at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation."
Geospatial Commission chair Sir Andrew Dilnot added: "Location data already has a significant impact on our lives. Better location data will help us to make more informed decisions on everything from where to build new schools and hospitals, to how to manage precious resources such as land and energy, creating economic, social and environmental value.
"It will guide development of future technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and advanced digital representations that will support improved UK competitiveness and quality of life. The Geospatial Commission was set up to take advantage of the significant opportunities that location data and technology offer to the UK."