Never has accurate and reliable location data been more important
A new Public Sector Geospatial Agreement has been announced.
Location data is crucial to the delivery of our public services; from education, social care, housing, and transport, to blue light services and security.
The UK has some of the best location data in the world, and a new Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) is set to transform the use of it. The PSGA agreement involves the UK and Scottish Governments, along with key industry bodies including Ordnance Survey, GeoPlace and the Improvement Service, and provides a new and enhanced offering of location services to meet the existing and future needs of the economy.
The PSGA has been negotiated by the Geospatial Commission, which was formed as an expert committee within the Cabinet Office, with the role of advising the UK government on the most productive uses of location services and data.
Today’s announcement means that for the first time, Ordnance Survey’s highly detailed geospatial data will be available to use for free, up to a threshold. This will be of particular benefit to small and medium businesses, innovating location information and unlocking economic value.
The Improvement Service, representing Scottish local government, has been working closely with the Geospatial Commission and Ordnance Survey to deliver several aims of the Commission: in particular, releasing key data identifiers under open data terms.
These include the UPRN – the Unique Property Reference Number (which identifies every address across Great Britain) and the USRN – the Unique Street Reference Number (which identifies each street). These are held in the One Scotland Gazetteer, Scotland’s official address register, alongside their location.
The UPRN and USRN are golden threads that facilitate seamless data linking and analysis between different organisations. This has never been more crucial.
The Scottish public sector will also ensure that these authoritative identifiers are included in all applicable systems in the future – through a requirement of future IT system procurement.
It is anticipated that opening up these identifiers will unlock value across all economic sectors and aid cross-organisational collaboration. Members of the public will also be able to access new geographic Open UPRN and Open USRN datasets free of charge, helping expand the usage, and achieving these benefits.
The PSGA is a 10 year agreement covering England and Wales from the 1 April 2020, with discussions taking place between the Geospatial Commission and the Scottish Government to include expansion to Scotland shortly.