Governments are consolidating the role of geospatial data and technology in central governments. I have blogged about the Geospatial Data Act of 2017 in the U.S. Studies of the value of spatial data and technology to several national economies have suggested that wise government policy could significantly increase the contribution of spatial data and technology to the national GDP. Earlier this year the UK government created a Geospatial Commission which is intended to consolidate ten government departments and agencies including the Ordnance Survey. At Geo Business 2018 in London, William Priest, Director of the Geospatial Commission, gave an overview of the mission of the Geospatial Commission and the role it could play in the digital transformation of construction.
Geospatial data and technology has disrupted things like nothing else. In the hands of Google, Uber, Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and others geospatial data and technology have touched just about everyone's lives. And the UK has been a leader in the application geospatial data and technology. Among the countries of the world the UK ranks #1 or #2 in geospatial readiness. The Geospatial Commission has been allocated GBP 40 million for year 1 and year 2 to find ways to use geospatial technology to deliver economic growth and improve productivity and drive investment to foster innovation and to protect and enhance the quality of the UK's world class geospatial data assets. If this money is spent money wisely, it could unlock tremendous value in the UK economy, primarily by removing removing barriers, for example, in making the Ordnance Survey's Mastermap more open and accessible.
Of the potential use cases where geospatial data and technology could unlock value - healthcare and social welfare, housing, land and planning, optimizing end-to-end supply chains, infrastructure and construction, forecasting demand for public services, data quality and standards, flood prevention and protection, earth observation, and critical national infrastructure - the one that could have the largest impact on the economy is construction which represents roughly 10 % of GDP. In a recent report, McKinsey & Company suggests that the construction industry is ripe for disruption and one of the five technologies that it identified as key in the anticipated transformation is geospatial.