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Geospatial information and policy-making

The question of ‘Where?’ lies at the heart of effective policy development and delivery.

Information about location provides valuable context to data, and helps link disparate sources of information. As a result it supports successful policy formulation and evaluation, helps deliver policies which are more effective and efficient, and contributes to strong governance.

Evidence-based policy making is accepted as the most effective way to create and deliver policy. As policy makers move towards using ‘big data’ and more sophisticated analytical techniques location information has the potential to become even more important.

Despite this, the benefits of geospatial information are not always widely appreciated by policy makers outside specialist GIS teams, and as a result the use of geospatial information in the policy making process in governments remains variable.

We work with our public sector customers in central and local government and devolved administrations to help them benefit from using geospatial information in all stages of their policy making, whether when an idea is first conceived, or in implementing, delivering and monitoring a fully formed policy.

All our public sector customers have access to Ordnance Survey data through the Public Service Mapping Agreement (PSMA) and One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) so when geospatial data is called for it is readily available and can be linked to other evidence from, for example, statistics or surveys.

If you would like to discuss with us how geospatial information can be used more effectively for policy making please email us policyteam@os.uk.

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