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Royal Geographical Society signs up to Locus Charter


Mark Say Managing Editor


The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) has signed up to support the Locus Charter, promoting responsible practice in the use of location data.

RGS said it will seek to inform and improve location data practice across relevant work, from individual projects to organisational mandates.

The first such activities are a series of collaborative workshops with the Association for Geographical Information (AGI) for professional geographers to put the charter principles into practice, providing advice and examples to inform and improve their work.

The Locus Charter is spearheaded by EthicalGEO and Benchmark Initiative and applies to the use of location data across all sectors including public, private, educational, and not-for-profit.

Co-signatories are the AGI, American Geographical Society (AGS), Environmental Information Systems Africa (EIS - Africa), the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI - Mexico), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), PLACE, Radiant Earth Foundation and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Nigel Clifford

Nigel Clifford, president of the RGS (with IBG), said: “The society is delighted to have become a member of the Locus Charter, offering a set of common international principles that can guide responsible practice when using location data – an issue currently at the heart of debates around digital privacy.

“The responsible use of data is crucial, be it deployed in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, fighting climate change, protecting the environment or improving public health. The charter’s remit covers all sectors in which public trust and confidence must be maintained and highlights the impact of location data in policy and practice.”

Image from Royal Geographical Society

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