“The focus of our company has been around geospatial innovation over the past 12 months and we expect that to be the case in the future.”
Tim Hughes, CEO The Carto Group
The announcement in the recent Autumn Budget that the OS Master Map is to be opened up and a Geospatial Commission established is fantastic news for everyone and comes at a key time for us here, as CartoConsult becomes part of The Carto Group.
We’ve been talking about the amazing potential of 3D GIS since the company was founded back in 2014, when there were only a few individuals working on 3D GIS applications.
Location intelligence makes a substantial and significant contribution to society: the need for structured data and importance of geospatial information is finally being recognised. Businesses, communities and individuals around the United Kingdom will be able to find, and use, location data which could help them start a new business or tackle local issues which are impacting on people’s daily lives.
The news was welcomed by the Association for Geographic Information (AGI). Abigail Page, Chair of the AGI, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the new Geospatial Commission, as it develops a forward-thinking strategy for using the Government’s location data in support of economic growth.”
Phil Graham, CEO of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission stated at GeoCom – the AGI’s annual conference: “We could save up to a billion pounds in this country, if data was used more effectively,” while David Johnson, of the Office of National Statistics’ Data Camp, added: “Geo is the key to everything we do…”
The first task of the GIS Commission is to work with Government and the Ordnance Survey by May 2018 to establish how to open up freely the OS MasterMap data to UK-based small businesses in particular.
Location-aware technologies are revolutionising the economy. From navigating public transport to tracking supply chains and planning efficient delivery routes, the digital services built on GPS and the current mapping data have quietly become everyday parts of daily life and commerce.
The new Geospatial Commission, supported by £40 million of new funding in each of the next two years, will drive the move to use this data more productively – unlocking up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.
The new Commission will draw together HM Land Registry, the Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the UK Hydrographic Office and the Coal Authority with a view to:
- improving the access to, links between, and quality of their data
- looking at making more geospatial data available for free and without restriction
- setting regulation and policy in relation to geospatial data created by the public sector
- holding individual bodies to account for delivery against the geospatial strategy
- providing strategic oversight and direction across Whitehall and public bodies who operate in this area.
We look forward to seeing what innovative new uses come from the release of this data. Keep in touch by following us on social media to see what we’ll be working on.