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Geospatial Commission sets next priorities


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Geospatial Commission has set out four priority workstreams for the next year to support its strategic aims.

Its new annual plan for 2021-22 points to work on the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR), pilots on land use data, a second phase of the Transport Location Data Competition and an assessment of location data assets.

The publication comes a year after the launch of the UK’s Geospatial Strategy, which highlights the role of location data in boosting the economy and supporting public services.

Each of the priorities in the new annual plan reflects one of the commission’s strategic aims.

The intent to begin building the NUAR following the success of pilots in the North-East of England and London. It will cover underground assets such as pipes and cables for utilities and is seen as a key step in using location data to boost economic recovery.

A series of regional and national pilots to improve data on land use is aimed as supporting green development through policy making on low carbon uses of land.

The second phase of the Transport Location Data Competition will involve an investment of up to £4 million in the best projects from phase one, supporting development to near market-ready products and services. This is intended to contribute to boosting the development of new technologies in the location data space.

Finally, the publication of the first comprehensive assessment of location data assets, held by the commission and its partner bodies in the UK, will be aimed at helping the public sector make the most of location data.

Past year's progress

The annual plan also outlines progress over the past year with key initiatives, including: the investment of £2 million in the first phase of the Transport Location Data Competition; the opening up of API access to location data; and the launch of a public dialogue on location data ethics.

Chair of the Geospatial Commission, Sir Bernard Silverman, said: “In a rapidly advancing digital economy, location data is a huge and growing asset bringing immense value to many of our key sectors across the UK, helping shape and deliver our infrastructure and environmental goals and supporting better public service delivery, as well as facilitating many opportunities for both small and large businesses.

“A key aspect of my work has always been how through better understanding and use of data our lives can be profoundly improved. I am looking forward to driving the UK’s geospatial agenda and helping to realise the huge potential offered by the many different kinds of location data.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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