Press release

Value of location data to be unlocked by government investment

The Geospatial Commission will invest £5 million to help unlock the value of geospatial data held by its six expert Partner Bodies.

  • Government’s Geospatial Commission makes first investment from its £80 million two-year budget

  • Minister David Lidington says funding will allow British companies to compete in global marketplace and improve people’s lives

The Geospatial Commission will invest £5 million to help unlock the value of geospatial data held by its six expert Partner Bodies - the British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, UK Hydrographic Office and the Valuation Office Agency.

Location information, or geospatial data, is changing the way we see the world and live our lives - from helping us to avoid traffic jams to easily finding local services or deciding where to buy a house: through cutting edge analysis of GPS, satellite photography and historical data.

David Lidington, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said:

Our modern Industrial Strategy will secure Britain’s position as a world-leader in digital innovation and this government is committed to providing more opportunities for tech businesses - including small firms - to thrive, as well as access public procurement opportunities.

Through emerging technologies, our Geospatial and GovTech funding will elevate British companies onto a global market and help to deliver new services to improve people’s lives.

The work of the Geospatial Commission, supported by £40 million of new funding in each of the next two years, will drive the move to use this data more productively - unlocking up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.

Geospatial data is an increasingly valuable tool for businesses and public sector organisations, helping them to make better decisions. That could range from tackling crime hotspots or finding the quickest routes for emergency services to deciding where best to locate supply chains.

By improving the quality of key publicly held data and making it easier to access and use, the government will enable the private sector to develop new innovations and applications.

The announcement comes days before the launch on 9th October of the next round of the £20 million GovTech Catalyst programme, in which public sector organisations are invited to submit challenges they think might be solved by innovative use of emerging technologies. Both the government’s Geospatial and GovTech funding is aimed at driving forward Britain as a digital and data leader.

Notes to Editors:

  1. For more information please contact the Cabinet Office Press Team on: 0207 276 7545.
  2. The six Partner Bodies of the Geospatial Commission are:

    • HM Land Registry
    • Ordnance Survey
    • British Geological Survey
    • Valuation Office Agency
    • UK Hydrographic Office
    • Coal Authority

  3. An initial investment in 2018-19 will fund them to deliver 4 exploratory projects:

    • Data Discoverability – assessing and improving access to current data sets
    • Linked Identifiers – supporting users to bring different data together in valuable new ways
    • Licensing – working towards simple, common licensing terms to increase data use
    • Enhancing core data assets – using third party data to improve the quality of data and make its collection more efficient

  4. This investment is part of the Government’s SmarterGov campaign to drive innovation, savings and public service improvement across government and wider public sector and part of the Government’s broader Industrial Strategy to support business growth.

    It sets out how we are creating a smarter government that’s more collaborative and open to new ways of working, fully exploiting the power of technology and data to deliver world-class services that offer citizens value for money.
Published 7 October 2018
Last updated 9 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Press release updated with contact details.

  2. First published.