The UK government has unveiled its renewed geospatial strategy, outlining plans to expand innovative location data and technologies across the country by 2030. The strategy aims to boost the economy and provide valuable insights for public service planning through the use of Earth Observation Technology Pilots and the Land Use Analysis Task Force.
During a keynote speech at London Tech Week, the Science and Technology Secretary highlighted the potential economic benefits that can be unlocked by leveraging technologies such as AI, satellite imagery, and real-time data. These innovations will drive location-based innovation in sectors such as property, transportation, utilities, and more.
Geospatial applications and services already play a vital role in everyday life. From online maps used by billions worldwide to improving delivery services for online shoppers, these technologies have a significant impact on businesses and economies. They also have the potential to transform public sector delivery by aiding in transportation infrastructure planning or enhancing emergency responses during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK Geospatial Strategy sets out three key missions: embracing enabling technologies to accelerate geospatial innovation; driving greater use of geospatial applications across various sectors; and building confidence in the future geospatial ecosystem. By focusing on these missions, the strategy aims to cement the UK’s position as a global leader in science and technology.
To achieve its goals, the strategy will build on existing initiatives such as implementing the National Underground Assets Registry (NUAR), which provides standardized data on pipelines and underground cables. It will also explore how location data can support electric vehicle (EV) charging point deployment.
In this regard to these efforts, new research will be conducted to understand geographical changes in employment locations and land use. The findings will help inform decision-making processes for public sector initiatives like EV charging point placement.
The strategy also includes plans to organize an international geospatial conference in 2024. This event will bring together world-leading scientists who are at the forefront of geospatial technologies.
The Geospatial Commission, responsible for implementing the strategy, aims to fully operationalize the National Underground Assets Register in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland by the end of 2025. It will also review the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
The UK geospatial sector is expected to experience significant growth as a result of these initiatives. By harnessing location data and investing in research and development, the country can maintain its global leadership in geospatial applications and services.
Stakeholders have expressed their support for the renewed strategy, emphasizing the importance of partnerships between academia, industry, and the public sector. They believe that embracing technologies like AI and satellite imagery will be crucial for analyzing data in new ways and addressing challenges related to land use planning, climate change resilience, and infrastructure investment decisions.
All things considered, the UK Geospatial Strategy 2030 presents an exciting opportunity for the country to leverage innovative technologies and drive economic growth through location-based insights. By prioritizing geospatial innovation across various sectors, the government aims to position the UK as a global science and technology superpower while delivering better public services to taxpayers.