The UK’s approach to collecting data from the world’s oceans will significantly improve with greater collaboration among members of the marine geospatial community, according to a new report launched on behalf of the UK Marine Geospatial Community.
he 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.
Highlighting the critical role of marine geospatial data to the future of the ocean, the report suggests four principle recommendations from the UK’s Marine Geospatial Community.
#1 Great collaboration
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.
#2 Common data standards
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 epicentre for end users and innovators who need high density and quality data.
#3 More transparency
More transparency as well as a common approach to data access is the third recommendation. Presently, data is held in multiple locations of varying visibility, and often constricted by time-consuming red tape. The Geospatial Commission will explore ways to overcome this so that members of the geospatial community can access the information they need, while respecting important values such as intellectual property rights, data fidelity and national security.
#4 Greater data collection efforts
The Marine Geospatial Community would strongly benefit from a shared view of what information is being gathered, by whom, when and to what standard. This basic but essential understanding of what everyone is doing will enable the Community to remove duplication and explore collaboration opportunities that make use of economies of scale, so that even more data is collected.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Chris Parry, Project Co-Chair at the UKHO, said:
Through using best practice from PolicyLab, this evidence based report represents the first time the UK’s world-leading Marine Geospatial Community has come together to share and validate known and new challenges and opportunities