Geospatial, or location data, is having a significant impact on our lives. It is transforming the way we complete everyday tasks, supports key decisions on where to develop vital infrastructure and helps us to use resources efficiently.
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. This same data is also essential to the protection of our oceans, helping us to monitor delicate marine environments and use them responsibly.
The UK Geospatial Data Strategy, released this week by the Geospatial Commission, 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.
This includes four key missions the Commission will use to increase access to data, build skills and support innovation over the next five years. These include:
- 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.
Together, these missions will help drive innovation and boost the economy across the UK over the coming years. This includes our maritime sector, which provides an estimated £47 billion to the economy each year.
As one of six partner bodies that make up the Commission, the UK Hydrographic Office is proudly supporting this strategy and its aims. We will work with other members of the Geo6 to improve the way geospatial data is used and shared in the UK.
Commenting on the strategy 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.
“As a partner body, we are proud of the part we have played. But I would also like to thank the UK’s marine geospatial community, whose input has helped to build this strategy. Working together, we can unlock the power of location data and enable better use of our seas and oceans.”
Cathrine Armour, Chief Customer Officer at the UK Hydrographic Office commented: “There is a growing recognition of the importance of our marine environment and the need to use ocean resources in a sustainable way. Marine geospatial data is essential to help us unlock economic value, while ensuring the protection of our oceans for years to come.
“The exciting steps outlined in this strategy will help to improve access to this data and build geospatial skills across the UK, enabling the UKHO and our partners to develop safe, secure and thriving oceans into the future.”