Trends for 2022 in geospatial data
OS’s Chief Propositions and Innovation Officer, Paul French, gives his predictions on trends that will affect the geospatial industry this year.
What new technologies will businesses be looking to adapt in 2022 and why?
A trend that will grow and develop further in 2022 is artificial intelligence, in particular machine learning. At OS, we are already exploring new ways to capture even more granularity in our data and will be relying more and more on automation. Using machine learning derived from remote sensing, enables us to provide accurate digital maps and insights quickly and efficiently, so that governments and businesses can make better informed decisions and react quickly.
Understanding data quality and its’ ethical use is always paramount and these two areas we also predict will be a key focus in 2022, especially in relation to AI and the Locus Charter – a new global charter to guide the responsible use of location data.
Data ethics are important to OS, but it's also important in terms of the wider industry. The Locus Charter places emphasis around how data should be managed and controlled. Getting this right is critical for OS with data being one of our biggest assets. So how we look after that, ensure we manage that appropriately is absolutely critical for our business.
Has there been anything surprising in the last year which may play out and have a greater effect in 2022?
OS has always had a highly effective partner network that builds on our data and products to create powerful offerings from the property to utilities sector. Greater collaboration will be key to bring that competitive edge and speed to achieving successful outcomes. We are already developing this sense of collaboration further with innovative solutions such as the National Energy Systems Map which integrates data from all Britain’s electricity and gas network operators, and the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) which is a data sharing platform for underground pipes and cables that will revolutionise construction and development in the UK. By gaining insights from OS data and using our expertise that incorporates valuable input from our partners, means we can deliver tailored solutions that solve specific customer problems and support growing markets.
What can the industry expect from OS in 2022 in terms of new products and innovation?
Our aim is to become a disruptor, pushing the boundaries and adding more value to location data - to achieve even-greater efficiency and accuracy, and in turn delivering innovative services and solutions for our customers. We plan to achieve this in three ways; expanding into new areas of opportunity, creating new innovations and by investing in our core geospatial data.
Firstly, OS will be focusing on expanding into new markets. For example, how we can support sustainability challenges by providing geospatial expertise to help our customers meet their net zero targets and sustainable ambitions, and to support the growth of the green economy. In our Consumer Business Unit we are riding the wave of increased awareness in health tech looking at developing mindfulness and wellness apps.
Secondly, our research and innovation teams are creating the future intellectual property and capability that will power our next products in a diverse range of areas, as well as exploring ways in which to collaborate on new ideas and solutions. One way in which we do this already is through our Geovation accelerator programme, supporting start-ups across the location and property industries as these entrepreneurs are key to unlocking a new approach and fresh ideas to overcome pre-existing challenges, especially in relation to sustainability and climate change.
And finally, we are investing heavily in our geospatial data to unlock new use cases and value for our customers. Our geospatial data is core to our organisation. It underpins critical customer business functions, delivering insights and operational efficiency across the public and private sector markets. In 2022 we will be transforming the way our customers access and use our data. This is our biggest change in 20 years, and I am really excited that we are leading the next generation development of Ordnance Survey's biggest asset.