Making decisions with location-based data is becoming more and more prevalent in many business sectors. Gary McDonald, Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Sector Manager at Ordnance Survey, gives his view of the benefits for land and property professionals.
By its very nature the land and property market is a key area of data activity. However, sourcing the most appropriate data is no longer the main issue for most users. The challenge is how to analyse it effectively - in other words, how to turn data into useful intelligence.
Through various activities, we have been busy highlighting how the richness of the data we capture, maintain and supply can help to reduce cost, manage risk, satisfy legal compliance and increase overall business efficiency.
In our discussions with property developers, for example, we have been keen to show how our data portfolio can align with their market requirements for accurate site selection, planning requirements and ongoing management.
To demonstrate our commitment and engagement with the sector, we have been pleased to sponsor the annual Estates Gazette awards for the past few years. The awards are a key benchmark in judging excellence in the property industry and our involvement has enabled us to raise the profile of location data direct with industry influencers.
At the same time, we have been pursuing a long-term focus on the importance of ensuring data is correctly licensed.
Our latest research in this area found that 40% of land and property professionals, including developers, civil engineers and lawyers, could be using unlicensed mapping information. The study also showed that around 45% of the maps submitted with planning applications were unlicensed or incorrectly displayed.
BIM and 3D information modelling are creating a growing need to collaborate and share data among multiple project partners, and so we believe licensing is a requirement that will gain more and more industry traction.
We’ve been reminding planning applicants, for instance, that local planning authorities are increasingly demanding that every application is validated with land plans that have up-to-date mapping at defined scales from a reliable source. If they do not, the authority may reject them, slowing up the planning process. The obvious result of a rejected application is frustration among clients and potentially even a compensation claim.
Our central message is that just as property professionals should ensure their software licences are valid and their construction tools are correctly calibrated, they should also make certain their map data is properly licensed. The value of a licence is that it ensures the data you rely on is maintained and provides the best currency available.
Thankfully, we have had positive feedback on our ‘best practice’ campaign with a range of sector partners to decrease the use of unlicensed data.
We will continue to emphasise the benefits of licensed data as the land and property market embraces the opportunities opened up by BIM and other new technologies.
If you haven’t already, I urge you to visit our YouTube channel, where you can watch our short videos explaining more about licensing location data and why it makes sound business sense.
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