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Next steps for location data in the UK - the Geospatial Strategy, market development, regulation, and priorities for research and skills

February 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference examines the future for location-based data in the UK - looking at priorities for the UK’s Geospatial Strategy and for developing the geographic data market.


Areas for discussion include:


  • the UK’s Geospatial Strategy ­- implementation, impact, ethics, regulation and the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) pilot projects
  • data - priorities for developing the framework, accessibility and interoperability
  • skills - including geospatial apprenticeships
  • commercialisation - supporting the development of location-based data services across the UK, and potential contribution to the economy

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the Geospatial Commission; BEIS; the Cabinet Office; DCMS; DfT; HMRC; the HSE; Home Office and the NAO.


The agenda:


  • Developing the UK’s geospatial sector and realising opportunities
  • Developing a coherent national location data framework
  • Case study - lessons learnt from the National Underground Asset Register pilot projects
  • Taking forward the UK Geospatial Strategy - improving access to better location data, and priorities for harnessing and safeguarding the data going forward
  • Supporting the development of the skills, geospatial apprenticeships and capabilities to enable future growth
  • Research and developing the market for geospatial data - future applications, commercial opportunities and supporting development and uptake

Key areas for discussion:


  • Unlocking the power of location - The UK’s geospatial strategy:
    • key recommendations - assessing measures put forward for supporting growth, competition and innovation
    • delivery - how to address key challenges for developing and implementing a coherent national location data framework, and meeting its core objectives of:
      • promoting and safeguarding the use of location data
      • improving access to better location data
      • enhancing capabilities, skills and awareness
      • enabling innovation
    • ethics - what should be included in guidelines for the responsible use of location data and technology, options for enforcement, and progress on developing a strategy in this area
    • impact - looking at guidance being developed for measuring the economic, social and environmental value of location data
    • regulation - development of a set of harmonised data licences for the use of public sector location data, which is due by 2021
    • lessons from NUAR pilot projects - building trust, engaging early and defining clear use cases, and implications for the next phase of the programme and national rollout
  • next steps for development - supporting the development of location-based data services across the UK:
    • use cases - examining how to maximise the potential for location data in areas such as:
      • supporting the future of mobility and next generation transport networks
      • delivering environmental outcomes and the delivery of a national land use framework
      • enabling future technologies as identified in the Geospatial Commission’s Future Technologies Review, including in:
        • cameras, imaging and sensing, immersive technologies and simulation
        • unmanned vehicle systems and drones, and survey, measurement and scanning
        • artificial intelligence, smart sensors and the internet of things
    • key programmes - priorities for the Geospatial Commission’s work with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government to develop a new Scottish Geospatial Network Integrator
  • commercialisation - what more might be required from policymakers, researchers, and businesses to support work into developing geospatial data and incentivise private sector investment
  • data - what more needs to be done to open up data for development:
    • key programmes - how to maximise the impact of:
      • the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) which provides location expertise to developers and the public sector across Britain
      • improved access to the Ordnance Survey MasterMap
      • the work of the Geo6 and the Data Discoverability programme
    • tackling barriers - what is needed to ensure that location data is available, accessible, interoperable, reusable and of high quality
  • skills - with the strategy committing to produce a skills demand study to pinpoint specific sectors and roles that need geospatial skills now and in the future, including:
    • geospatial apprenticeships - assessing progress and next steps for their development in the public and private sectors
    • collaboration - the way forward for fostering effective joint working between the public sector, academia, and industry, drawing together geospatial, data science, digital and sector expertise
  • research - assessing the landscape in relation to geospatial development including:
    • international relationships - the possible impact of the end of the Brexit transition period on collaboration, and priorities for the UK in the global geospatial environment
    • funding - whether more is needed from public and private sector sources to support continued research efforts, and where the priority areas for investment are

Relevant developments


  • Unlocking the power of location: The UK’s geospatial strategy - which sets out plans to develop a coherent national location data framework by 2025, focused on four main areas:
    • promoting and safeguarding the use of location data
    • improving access to better location data
    • enhancing capabilities, skills and awareness
    • enabling innovation
  • Enhancing the UK’s Geospatial Ecosystem - report by the Geospatial Commission with recommendations focusing on:
    • improving data access and maintaining public trust in location data technologies
    • driving business innovation in geospatial technologies in order to meet the aims of the Geospatial Strategy
  • the Government’s £2m transport location data competition:
    • supporting the development of transport location data to enable smart mobility solutions for future transport
    • allocating the winnings across 28 projects under the themes of developing mobility as a service, boosting capacity, active travel, and supply chains
  • National Underground Asset Register Project Update - latest development and findings from the NUAR pilot projects on a digital map of all underground pipes and cables
    • backed by the Geo6, a collaboration between: The British Geological Survey, the Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the UK Hydrographic Office and the Valuation Office Agency
  • New support to grow the Scottish geospatial sector - moves towards establishing the new Scottish Geospatial Network Integrator to enhance the use of location-based data across Scotland
  • The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), which:
    • replaced the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) for England and Wales and the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) earlier this year
    • sets out how the Ordnance Survey provides location expertise to developers and the public sector across Britain
  • Tech UK’s new Geospatial Data Campaign - which will explore the opportunities and potential benefits from greater use of geospatial data across different industries and sectors
  • Improved access to MasterMap data and core location identifiers - announced by the Geospatial Commission alongside the release under an Open Government Licence of core location identifiers
  • How the UK government is transforming the way it shares geospatial data - updates from the Geo6 on project Data Discoverability, aimed at supporting the unlocking the potential of geospatial data

Policy officials attending


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Geospatial Commission; BEIS; the Cabinet Office; DCMS; the Department for Transport; the Health and Safety Executive; HM Revenue & Customs; the Home Office; the Ministry of Defence; the National Audit Office; and The Scottish Government.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles