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GeoPlace response to the UK’s Geospatial Strategy

Blog posted by: Gayle Gander, Head of Marketing, and Richard Duffield, Head of Customer Insights, GeoPlace, 23 June 2020.

GeoPlace welcomes the publication of the UK’s Geospatial Strategy by the Geospatial Commission which was published on 16th June 2020.

For the last 20 years we have sat at the heart of a community whose vision is a world where everyone benefits from the power of location information. We have driven the adoption of standards for addressing and street data, including the development of BS7666: Spatial datasets for geographical referencing, on which the local address and street gazetteers from local authorities as well as the national gazetteers managed by GeoPlace are built.

Much has been achieved over this time, including a national address and street infrastructure which is recognised across the globe as an exemplar. Much also has changed, including rapid technological progress giving geospatial professionals the opportunity to bring their ideas to life at scale and in real time.

Geospatial professionals are inherently collaborative with a strong sense of connection to the world and the people around them. We want to work together to tackle huge problems that benefit the world. A strong government vision, strategy and policy framework are essential for enabling this.

For many years we have been advocating on behalf of our community and in collaboration with our peers. It’s exciting to see the opportunities recognised at the highest level in Government.

GeoPlace is a joint venture between the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey.  We are a centre for excellence in the management of spatial address and street data.  We have been working with local authorities for 20 years to develop the National Street Gazetteer (NSG), available to download directly from us and used within Ordnance Survey’s Highways Network product and the National Address Gazetteer (NAG), available through Ordnance Survey as the AddressBase® range of products.

The National Geospatial Strategy communicates the mission to “Improve access to better location data”. We have been working in partnership with the Geospatial Commission and others on three projects designed to achieve this:

  1. This April, Government announced that the core location identifiers we manage are to be made available under Open Government Licence from 1st July 2020. This new availability was also highlighted by Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the Geospatial Commission, in his preface to the UK’s Geospatial Strategy
  2. The Government has approved these identifiers, the Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRN) as mandatory open standards. By helping people across the public sector reference and share information, it will improve services for citizens, reduce costs, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data sharing in many ways
  3. Ensuring our data is available free of at the point of use to the whole public sector under the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA).

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