How you can achieve a smart city with geospatial data

4 minute read
Geospatial data underpins much of the technology and digital services that power city’s digital economies.

Data has been described as a driver of growth and change in the 21st century, much like oil was in the 20th century. With McKinsey projecting that the global data economy will generate $13 trillion globally in new economic activity by 2030, many countries and cities are seeing data and digital services as an important avenue for future growth as well as quality of life for citizens.

Recognising this potential, Dubai Municipality has launched a number of initiatives putting data and digitalisation at the heart of their strategy to become the happiest city on Earth. Dubai Municipality already possesses a sophisticated vision for the future of the city, and we are collaborating with them to execute several projects together.

Geospatial data at the core of digital growth

Geospatial data underpins much of the technology and digital services that power digital economies. It's a core component of what some people call the fourth industrial revolution, providing the digital information that fuels some of the biggest economic success stories of the last decade, including on-demand ride-hailing apps and delivery services like Grab, Gojek, Uber and Deliveroo. Looking to the future, geospatial data is a key enabler of emerging urban technologies, allowing delivery drones to reach their targets and underpinning the roll-out of self-driving cars that will improve convenience and accessibility to millions of citizens.

The UK is a major player in the world’s data economy, coming in second to only the USA when ranking countries according to sophistication of data production, or “gross data product”, according to Harvard Business Review. As Britain’s mapping agency, Ordnance Survey is a key player in the nation’s growing data economy. Our authoritative geospatial data products are available for free to the public sector under our Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), and in 2020, in partnership with the Geospatial Commission, we opened more of this data than ever before to commercial enterprises free at the point of use. This extra provision will provide a £130 million per year boost to the UK economy, according to the Geospatial Commission, who project that geospatial data could unlock an extra £11 billion worth of economic growth in the private sector per year.

Ordnance Survey has been helping to grow geospatial start-ups into viable businesses through our incubator, Geovation, for over a decade. Geovation supports a community of more than 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors, developers, academics, students and corporate innovators.

Digital twin models enable better planning

Ordnance Survey works with government agencies internationally to carry out geospatial maturity assessments and build bespoke geospatial data solutions to address countries’ data needs. For example, in Singapore, we worked with the Government Technology Agency to build a 3D model of the city. The team identified suitable data capture tools and created a multi-staged process to capture and process data to a very high standard, in a dense, mid-rise urban area with complex building shapes as well as a significant transport infrastructure.

This digital twin of the city allows for more detailed planning – GovTech can better support innovation in clean energy, eMobility and autonomous vehicles by improving decision making on, for example, where to place solar panels calculating how much sunlight particular faces of buildings receive. The 3D model allows for sophisticated simulations of how the city’s infrastructure works with technological developments, as it has rich semantic data covering everything from traffic information, building use to construction materials, to population data and environmental conditions.

See your city smile

Explore how OS can help your city thrive with geospatial data

Headshot of Dan Schirren
By Dan Schirren

Head of International Sales