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Framework for policy making and service delivery PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ordnance Survey   
18 June 2004
Fourfold increase in government departments tapping into power of Ordnance Survey data

A dramatic rise in the number of central government departments and agencies tapping into the power of Ordnance Survey digital data has been revealed on the eve of the Government Computing exhibition and conference at London's Earls Court (22-23 June).

Almost 220 departments and other government bodies are now signed up to the Pan-government agreement (PGA) for the supply of Ordnance Survey digital mapping and geographic data - a fourfold increase on the take-up only two years ago.

Many are now using the data as a framework for the linking and analysis of information from many sources to underpin policy making and enhance public service delivery. Others are embedding it in innovative web-based information services ranging from consultation on planning issues to transport and location-finding services.

Signatories to the agreement now include large central government departments covering issues such as transport, education, health, the environment, employment and constitutional affairs, along with a host of agencies and other public bodies like the Countryside Agency, Land Registry, Met Office and the BBC.

The agreement provides access to a wide range of digital products, including the most sophisticated and detailed OS MasterMap data. This dataset identifies more than 440 million features of the British landscape - including every building and plot of land - with each assigned a unique identifier to ease the linking and analysis of different datasets.

As well as the highly-detailed topographic information, OS MasterMap includes, for example, an Address Layer pinpointing more than 26 million postal addresses in Britain and a developing Integrated Transport Network Layer, which already provides intricate digital detail of the country's road network.

"The various layers of OS MasterMap are being used increasingly both inside and outside government as the framework to which huge amounts of disparate information can be linked, analysed and presented," says James Brayshaw, the director responsible for customer and market development at Ordnance Survey.

"Naturally, we are delighted at the steep rise in the number of departments and other bodies taking our data. Our priority now is to help users get the most from it - maximising the benefits from using our digital products for the wider public good.

"It is clear that many government organisations have acquired our data for specific and important projects, but we are keen to demonstrate that they could get even more value and benefit from using it across a whole range of programmes."

He adds: "With the increasing pace of adoption and migration to OS MasterMap, not just in central government but also among local government organisations and utility companies that are using our data, the opportunities for data sharing and cross-departmental analysis, new e-government initiatives and service delivery improvements are immense."

The rapid spread of Ordnance Survey data through central government is also opening up fresh opportunities for system integrators, software companies, consultants and other geographical information providers through the recently-introduced  S-CAT government procurement arrangements to speed the supply of such services.


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