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Earlier this year the ‘Data Discoverability’ project, sponsored by the Geospatial Commission, took some really positive steps towards making it easier to find and access location-based information (or ‘geospatial’ data) on the web by:
- Publishing a standardised geospatial data catalogue on data.gov.uk for each of the Geo6* organisations, and;
- Making a number of user-research based recommendations for data publishers and search tool providers.
Last year the Government announced its plans to unlock its mapping and location data to boost the economy by £130m a year. Since then we’ve been working with the Geospatial Commission, the geospatial industry and our customers to make this a reality.
Chris Chambers is the OS lead on the Open MasterMap Programme and brings us up to date on progress so far.
What have we done so far Chris?
The Geospatial Commission and Ordnance Survey are working hard to deliver the government commitment to release Open MasterMap data. This is a large programme of work.
As you can see from the infographic above, the Open MasterMap Programme has a large number and wide variety of deliverables – ranging from clearer pricing & licensing information to introducing a whole new way of engaging with Ordnance Survey. We’re working with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the Open MasterMap deliverables best meet customer needs. I’d say that to date we’ve delivered in three main areas:
Our vision to deliver a single customer portal to provide easier access to OS products and services is continuing at pace. In the 12 months since work began on opening up OS MasterMap, we’ve been busy working with customers and testing the OS Data Hub. The design and build of the new developer portal is aimed at providing an easy to access service for our customers. It will replace our current OS OpenData download pages and the API shop, to give our customers:
- Access to free API services up to a threshold and allow users to purchase credit for further access
- A place to manage their accounts and view their data usage
- The option to download OS OpenData products
- Access to data in new and improved formats
- Feedback on errors and omissions in OS data
- A simple way to navigate to product information, an improved API document store, community support and help FAQs
Continuing our series to introduce you to the wonderful individuals within OS and give you a snapshot of the variety of work we do, meet Marianne Pope. As a Product Manager, here she offers insight into her role from data to the Geospatial Commission…
How long have you worked for OS?
I joined OS in November 2018 as a product manager within OSGB. Before that I worked as a product manager in the education sector.
What does your role involve?
As a product manager, my main job is to set the vision for a product. The vision sets out the ‘why’ behind what we do and makes sure everyone is working towards the same goal. From the vision I draw up the roadmap and strategy for the product’s development while ensuring I balance the needs of our users with the needs of the business. I also spend a lot of time analysing data and carrying out user research to constantly measure product progress – this makes sure we stay on track towards our goals.
On 31 January, the Data Discoverability project published the Geo6 geospatial data catalogues. This project is one of the Geospatial Commission funded projects to maximise the benefits of geospatial data for the UK. The project has involved the 6 partner bodies of the Geospatial Commission. Also known as the Geo6, this includes Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, the Valuation Office and the UK Hydrographic Office.
We’ve been working with the Geospatial Commission alongside The British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry and The UK Hydrographic Office to create a single Data Exploration Licence. The single licence replaces a number of different agreements from the five partner bodies and allows registers users to freely access available data to research and develop their own ideas and propositions.
We were pleased to provide our own Data Exploration Licence as a template for the new partner body licences. First released to Geovation Hub members as a trial in 2016, we later rolled out the OS Data Exploration Licence in October 2016.
Over the past two years we have seen over 300 registrations from start-ups to large commercial companies sign up to the agreement, including those starting to explore opportunities to create new products and services. We look forward to seeing this trend accelerate with the introduction of the four new licences from the Geospatial Commission, providing users with access to a far wider range of geospatial data.
Benefits of a partner body Data Exploration Licence
Last week we published our Data Discoverability with Geo6 blog, which followed one of four data-related projects being brought together by the Geospatial Commission to maximise the benefits of geospatial data for the UK. The Data Discoverability project is all about making it easier for current and future users of geospatial information to find out exactly what UK location-based data each of the Geo6 bodies holds.
Today we are excited to announce that as a result of the Data Discoverability team’s work over the last few months, the Geo6 have published 6 catalogues (one for each organisation) listing all the data we each hold. These catalogues are published in a CSV format on data.gov.uk to ensure they are visible and accessible to anyone who needs them. The OS catalogues alone hold over 1,200 datasets from zip lines to roads! This data represents the first stage in a longer process to unlock the value of geospatial data held by the Geo6, and we are publishing this now so that you can get involved in shaping the future work we do.
Lisa Allen, Head of Data Management and Requirements in the OS Data Office, shares her insight on the recent Geo6 workshop.
As the first of four Geospatial Commission projects looking to improve the quality, accessibility and usability of all UK location-based data, the Geo6 recently held its third workshop on Data Discoverability.
Collectively known as the ‘Geo6’, this refers to a collaboration between OS, British Geological Survey (BGS), Coal Authority (CA), HM Land Registry (LR), UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Valuation Office Agency (VoA).
The Geospatial Commission, created by the UK government in November 2017, is inviting geospatial players and beyond to help shape the UK geospatial industry with its call for evidence to be a geospatial world leader. It is hoped the public consultation will help the industry support economic growth and unlock further value, which is estimated to be in the region of £11 billion a year. The geospatial call for evidence will play a significant role in setting the UK’s future geospatial vision. It will focus on innovation, enhancing geospatial assets and driving investment.
Neil Ackroyd, interim CEO of Ordnance Survey, said: “OS has been supporting Great Britain’s geospatial needs as its core task over its long history and we’ve seen first-hand the crucial role accurate geospatial can play. Whether it’s in national resilience, planning and critical infrastructure, or ensuring ambulances turn up at the correct location, geospatial has always been there. OS is pleased to be able to support the Geospatial Commission and we welcome this public opportunity to shape our industry and recognise the challenge to adapt and enhance our combined capabilities.”
In the past decade, as new technologies and innovative ways of thinking have emerged, we have worked on many ground-breaking projects that are being enabled by geospatial data, delivering services and solutions to nations, cities and communities. The role that geospatial can play in emerging markets is of course key to this consultation covering a breadth of opportunity from connectivity for citizens, through environmental stewardship to the new digital infrastructure required for the UK. The announcement of the geospatial strategy is very timely and this consultation is a significant event to build on the UK’s recognised position as a world leader in this field, putting geospatial at the heart of policy and government service delivery supporting future economic growth.
Find out more about the consultation and take part: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launch-call-for-evidence-to-be-geospatial-world-leader