A new report has highlighted how combining geospatial and location data with emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D scanners, is growing the UK economy

The report, funded by the Geospatial Commission and published by PUBLIC, an organisation that helps technology start-ups work better with the public sector, analyses commercial opportunities for use of geospatial and location data, considers the maturity of each technology in the UK, and provides numerous case studies and success stories.

Geospatial and location data is a valuable tool for both the public and private sectors, helping them make better decisions, which could range from tackling crime hotspots or finding the quickest routes for emergency services, to deciding where best to locate warehouses. The Geospatial Commission was launched in 2017, and supported by £80m of funding over that time to drive the move to use this data more productively.

This work builds on wider Cabinet Office plans for cross-government digital transformation, including a new Technology Innovation Strategy, launched in June, which sets out the government’s approach to boosting the adoption of new technologies across the public sector.

Minister for the cabinet office, Oliver Dowden, said: “Government investment in geospatial data is helping to grow our economy and improve public services. I welcome this report and look forward to taking the opportunities of geospatial technology even further.”

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Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the Geospatial Commission, said:  “I welcome this report published today which gives us a better understanding of the maturity of eight technologies and how they are likely to impact the future geospatial sector, which is rapidly growing.

“It also outlines opportunities geospatial technologies provide to the UK, with insights into the investment landscape and snapshot case studies for external audiences who have not yet engaged with the geospatial community.”

Dan Korski CBE, CEO and co-founder of PUBLIC, added:  “We are really excited to be launching this report, alongside the Geospatial Commission. Geospatial data and technology has the capability to drastically improve public services, from the way we manage transport in cities to how we plan smart energy policy.

“The UK government is only at the beginning of its journey in exploiting these new technologies for the benefit of citizens and service providers alike. We look forward to seeing the impact of this report in the policy and projects to come”.

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