UK’s new Geospatial Data Strategy to support innovation


The Geospatial Commission has unveiled the UK Geospatial Data Strategy.

The strategy sets out key steps that will help to unlock the power of location data across land and sea – building economic, social and environmental value for the UK.

The Commission will use the strategy to increase access to data, build skills and support innovation over the next five years.

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This will be done through four key missions:

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.

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 quality.

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.

Enable innovation to maximise commercial opportunities and promote market-wide adoption of high value emerging location technologies.  

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.

Geospatial data is transforming the way we complete everyday tasks, supports key decisions on where to develop vital infrastructure and helps us to use resources efficiently, according to a statement.

This data is also critical to the way we interact with and protect our oceans. Whether renewables or shipping, much of our maritime sector depends on data depicting the marine environment to operate and work safely.

Tim Lowe CBE, Chief Executive of the UK Hydrographic Office, said: “The launch of this strategy is an exciting milestone for the UK and will enable a transformation in the way we understand and utilise our geospatial data.

“For many of our marine industries, this geospatial data is an everyday essential. So, by improving access to this data, building skills and supporting innovation, we can help these industries to thrive whilst tackling environmental and social concerns.

The full strategy is available for download here