The ability to share data and information between different organisations has always been a challenge but is particularly problematic in the planning and engineering sector, where there is a huge requirement on having accurate and up-to-date data and information readily available.
The Spatial Hub project – operated by the Improvement Service – has made great progress in setting up data partnership agreements with each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities to act on their behalf to improve the quality of local government data and to facilitate better access to their datasets for the whole data community.
The Spatial Hub now has a web-based platform that enables efficient and effective data sharing (including much of local government’s planning data).
Over the last three years, the Improvement Service have been approached by local government contacts and utilities companies to enquire how they could access each other’s data efficiently and effectively - currently data exchange is time consuming, laborious and problematic.
The Improvement Service has worked with SGN (one of the country’s largest gas suppliers) to set up a data sharing agreement, that enables the Spatial Hub to securely host SGN’s gas network data and make it available to all those in local government who need access. In return, SGN now has full access to all local authority data published by the Spatial Hub.
It is hoped that this initiative will be adopted, not only by other utility companies, but by any other organisation that wishes to reciprocate data sharing with Scottish local government.
About the Spatial Hub
The Spatial Information Service (SIS) which is part of the Improvement Service - the national improvement organisation for Scottish local government - is responsible for bringing together local authority spatial data to provide standardised and consistent national datasets.
The Spatial Hub was created with the purpose of improving the quality and access of local government data. It now has 37 national datasets covering important areas like planning; community; environment and transport.
This data is now being used by some 100 organisations across the public sector and will soon be available to both the academic and commercial sector. The Spatial Hub has now been sharing local government data with the public sector since 2016.