Advice for public sector location data usage

By on 13 September, 2022


The UK Geospatial Commission has published new guidance to help public sector organisations make more effective cases for investing in location data.

According to the Commission, location data “is a strategic national asset, delivering significant value for people, organisations and wider society. It supports key government priorities such as Net Zero, Levelling Up and had an important role in managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

The Commission says that public sector bodies “have previously struggled to understand, assess and articulate the economic, social and environmental value of location data coherently, constraining their ability to unlock funding.”

The aim of the new guidance is to provide “a more structured and practical approach to assessing value that is based on best-practice methods, existing research and the experiences of stakeholders”.

The hope is that this will drive more consistency in the way that those benefits are captured, “improving the quality of investment cases presented to decision makers”.

“Linking data to location improves analysis, decisions and outcomes. It is vital that the public sector invests to maintain our strategic national geospatial assets,” said Thalia Baldwin, Commissioner of the Geospatial Commission.

“Our guidance will support organisations to make a coherent and persuasive case for improved geospatial data.”

The guidance sets out a seven-step framework for understanding, assessing and articulating the value of a location data project.

“We all know the practical value of maps and location data in supporting our everyday life,” said David Henderson, Chief Geospatial Officer at the UK’s Ordnance Survey.

“But expressing that value in a way that supports future investment in geospatial data and services by government and business remains a challenge.

“This work provides a valuable foundation on how to express those benefits and a more consistent approach to making the case for geospatial data.

The guidance was developed in conjunction with Frontier Economics, with contributions from location data users and suppliers.

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