The Improvement Service Spatial Hub, which provides a single point of access to local authority spatial data in a consistent, quality-assured format, is now becoming a reality. After a soft launch in 2016, through several iterations it now boasts 20 national datasets ranging from Community Council boundaries, green belt and polling places to vacant and derelict land, with more to be added over the coming months.
A formal partnership agreement to provide data for both the Spatial Hub and the One Scotland Gazetteer (the definitive address dataset for Scotland) is being put in place with only a handful for councils still to return their signed agreement.
The main intention of the Spatial Hub is to open up access to the wealth of spatial information created and maintained by local government in Scotland, and to do so in a way that is sustainable and self-supporting. Local government data is generally kept hidden away and its potential is not being realised. The aim is to make spatial data accessible and easy to use so that it can start delivering value.
At the moment, access to the quality-assured national datasets from local authorities via the Spatial Hub is only available to One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) members. However, work is ongoing to complete the necessary licence arrangements to extend and open up access so that all can benefit from the value of this resource.