Location data, also known as geospatial data, is used across sectors as diverse as infrastructure, housing and retail. The UK government has published a strategy setting out how the UK will unlock the power of location data.
Cabinet Office minister, Lord True, launched Unlocking the Power of Location: the UK’s geospatial strategy. He 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.”
The strategy sets out the first steps that the Geospatial Commission and its partners will carry out across four areas.
This includes the next phase of the National Underground Asset Programme (NUAR), which looks to digital map pipes and cables underground, publishing guidance for the ethical use of location data and technology and the piloting of an International Geospatial Service in 2021 to showcase and export UK geospatial expertise across the world. These activities will drive innovation and boost the economy across the UK over the coming years.
Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the Geospatial Commission, said: “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.”
The National Geospatial Strategy was launched by Lord True at Digital Leaders, an online summit attended by leaders from across the country who are focused on driving forward digital transformation.