A collaborative study from partners across government, industry and academia reveals that groups responsible for gathering marine geospatial information must find new, more efficient ways of working together.

The recently completed ‘Future of UK marine geospatial data’ study found that marine geospatial stakeholders from UK government, industry and academia must find new ways of working together to source and manage marine geospatial information. This will help drive the UK’s Build Back Better plan, while ensuring the nation retains its position as a world leader in ocean science.

The report was created as a result of a call for evidence from the Geospatial Commission on how geospatial data can support economic growth and productivity across the UK. To assist with that call, the Commission requested that UKHO and BEIS work together on a Marine Geospatial Evidence Base.

The BEIS and UKHO, along with the government’s Policy Lab – a hub to enable teams across Whitehall to develop impactful policy decisions – hosted workshops to give stakeholders from right across the UK’s diverse marine geospatial sector a forum to discuss opportunities, barriers, future users and best practices.

Highlighting the critical role of marine geospatial data to the future of the ocean, the report champions four principle recommendations from the UK’s Marine Geospatial Community. Firstly, it reaffirms the call for greater collaboration between and more strategic direction for the 30+ public sector organisations, along with an even larger pool of private and academic bodies, collecting geospatial data in the UK. Doing so will help reduce duplication of effort and maximise the value and re-use of data.

The second recommendation is for common data standards, cutting down on individual approaches to creating and storing information and making it more useable to those who need it. To ensure data quality is maintained, organisations should agree on a framework for marine geospatial data that enables all to commit to using it. This, the report argues, will help to ensure the UK becomes a leader in global data standards and the and epicentre for end users and innovators who need high density and quality data.

The full recommendations and further information can be found here.

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