[OSGeo-Discuss] Inputs invited for "The need for National level strategy for Open Principles in Geospatial"

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Sun May 29 06:26:56 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

May i request that those who are unable to attend this session in person for the discussion session on "The need for National level strategy for Open Principles in Geospatial" [1] at the Ordnance Survey on 15th June 2016 but interested to contribute to the discussions to email me your ideas/suggestions before 10th June 2016. I will summarize the suggestions recieved at the meeting and also to the wider community by email (after the meeting).

I am especially interested in casestudies from central and local governments in the UK for this. I would like to thank Jonathan Moules for sharing excellent information on Warwickshire County Council's GIS example. It helped me think more ideas for the future and why it is important that central/local governments should look at the big picture and long term view (and join forces and efforts) for mechanisms to support excellent staff in GIS teams at local government  . Warwickshire County Council by adopting an open-source solution for the council’s internal web GIS has inaddition to immediate cost savings has also got the longer-term benefit of having a sustainable web GIS that the council has control over. The big challenge for all local authorities and government organisations is to reduce their licence and maintenance costs whilst increasing their user base . Warwickshire County Council example of thinking ahead is an inspiration and i thank all colleagues there who worked for this.

Details at https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/case-studies/warwickshire-county-council-new-web-gis.html

It is important that local councils and government organisations across UK to expand upon these ideas from the good practice examples already implemented. There might be resistance from some properitary GIS vendors for this initiative as the cost savings for UK government and taxpayers in the long term might affect thier sales plans for the future.

There should be a vision to establish a National Centre for Open Government with expertise in Open Technologies and Open Data to build best practices in open source geospatial implementations and share ideas . There needs to be support and training facilities available for the local GIS departments who are migrating to Open Source GIS solutions. Investing in people is important. Scalability (without worring about exponential increases in licensing costs) will also be a important factor in cost savings and efficiencies. We already have dedicated Open Source Geospatial Labs in key research universities in the UK who can provide the expertise needed.

I am interested in knowing information on the following:

1. How much (roughly) is the UK government (central/local government etc) spending in buying properitery GIS licences for the last 10 years (2005-2015)? Is there any plans for on savings target for the next 10 years ?

2. How many SMEs and jobs have been created in the UK through the creation of  Open Geo ecosystem in the last 5 years (open source geospatial software and open data)?

3. What are the important steps needed for accelerating Open Innovation in location based technologies for expanding the Digital economy opportunities for the future.

It is important that we have an action plan for National level strategy for Open Principles in Geospatial and i am looking forward to your active contributions and support.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

Geo for All - Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

[1] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/05/inputs-invited-for-the-need-for-national-level-strategy-for-open-principles-in-geospatial/

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