“Innovation is inspired and informed by data, transforming how we live our lives… [The government] has empowered the Geospatial Commission to unlock the power of location data – equipping our economy to recover and thrive after Coronavirus, and improving the lives of UK citizens.”
Lord True CBE, Minister of State on unlocking location
The UK’s Geospatial Strategy 2020-2025 was released by the Geospatial Commission on 16th June 2020 and sets out the Government’s ambitions for the spatial data and GIS over the next 5 years.
It identifies several industry sectors including the environment, housing and infrastructure, where spatial data has the opportunity to have a significant benefit. These benefits include getting ahead of climate change and adapting to the consequences of global warming; improving how national infrastructure is planned, built and managed; helping to support efficiency; and transforming how developers find and evaluate land.
The strategy also looks to future trends in the use of spatial data, such as the increased use of real-time location data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Location data is important to understanding the environment around us. It is vital to the work our GIS team is doing for TEP, such as mapping the biodiversity of an area to completing a spatial analysis to support future development.
To mark the strategy’s release, we asked our GIS team to offer its insights on the most significant changes or impacts to spatial data and GIS over the next 5 years:
“GIS is obtaining more authoritative datasets making cities more liveable and sustainable with better planning and environmental management.”
“We, as GIS professionals have the unique ability to shape the way others see the world. It is of the upmost importance we use that ability ethically, for the benefit of everyone and the environment.”
“Wider access to datasets of greater accuracy offers support for government targets to deliver increasingly resilient ecological networks.”
“The increasing availability of ‘big’ datasets with potentially millions of records, brings both opportunities and challenges. It will allow GIS specialists to provide up-to-date, highly detailed information over a large geographic area. However, the way we manage the large volumes of data will be the challenge. Can cloud computing technologies provide the answer?”
“The use of more advanced geo-visualisation techniques and tools (such as animated mixed reality models) has the potential to revolutionise the way we understand and perceive our environment and how new development might interact with this.”
“The inclusion of a core mission to promote skills and awareness is very positive. The aims, ambitions and scope of the strategy are incredibly encouraging. However we must not lose sight of the need for GIS as a profession to promote and encourage the next generation. Geospatial apprenticeships and better connections with Universities, Colleges and Schools will be vital for the long term sustainability of geospatial plans and the skill as a whole.”