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Location Data Scotland launch event – unlocking opportunities in location data

March 2021
The Location Data Scotland launch event on 23 March saw over 140 individuals from across industry, public sector, third sector and academia come together online to discuss how Location Data Scotland can help them unlock the value in location data.

We heard from both government and industry experts on the opportunity this exciting sector offers and how organisations can get involved.

Ashley Stewart from Optimat, the cluster builder partner leading on the Location Data Scotland network, opened the event and provided an update on the progress within the project to-date.  Optimat were appointed to deliver the project by Scottish Enterprise, who manage the project on behalf of the contributing  partners namely Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and the UK Geospatial Commission.

Having engaged with 80+ organisations, developed an online community on LinkedIn of 250 individuals and recently finalised the members of the steering group, Location Data Scotland is already playing a key role in developing a robust geospatial community in Scotland.  Building a network of  partners has been high on the list for Location Data Scotland and there has been fantastic appetite to get involved so far with organisations and programmes such as TravelTech for Scotland, the Data Lab, CodeClan and more recently a partnership with Aerospace Valley in France.

Location Data Scotland Network Partners

Location Data Scotland Network Partners

Next we heard from both Scottish Government and the Geospatial Commission about their involvement as project sponsors within the programme and the activities they are currently engaged with.

Alan Corbett, who heads up the GSAT team at Scottish Government provided an overview of Scotland’s forthcoming geospatial strategy.

“Having access to accurate location data is proving invaluable in the Scottish Government’s fight against COVID-19, highlighting how location data can help save time, money and lives.

Scotland has a thriving and innovative geospatial business opportunity. Our strategy focuses on driving further investment in our world-leading tech industries, which are providing high value, skilled jobs and have an important role to play in Scotland’s sustainable economic recovery.”

Abigail Page, Head of Innovation and Skills at the Geospatial Commission, spoke about the innovative uses of geospatial in business.  “The UK has an abundance of data, new technologies and growing consumer interest in how that data is used. There is a real opportunity for location data – from new ways of capturing data and using it.”

The UK Geospatial Strategy was launched in June 2020 and identified nine location data opportunities including infrastructure, transport, housing, environment, public health, emergency response, ocean economy, retail and finance.   In supporting Location Data Scotland,  the Geospatial Commission wants to learn from the best innovators in Scotland as to how they are deploying geospatial technologies and use this opportunity to further unlock the value in location data.

We also heard from the Association for Geographic Information (AGI)  the UK’s professional membership body for the geospatial industry. The AGI  supports a thriving community, providing thought leadership and supporting career and skills development. The national group, AGI Scotland, enthusiastically welcomes and supports the Location Data Scotland initiative and looks forward to working in partnership to support , support the ambitious plans.   ScotlandIS who head up the data cluster in Scotland also noted its delight to be working in partnership with Location Data Scotland to build the geospatial community, create connections and enable collaborations across the work that they do.

Alan Moore, AGI Scotland Director and CEO of thinkWhere commented following the event, “Location data is the golden thread that links people, places and processes and can unlock value in almost any industry or business sector. By taking a cross-industry approach and building geospatial awareness and connections across the different communities of interest across Scotland, Location Data Scotland will yield many new opportunities for innovation and digital transformation. Collaborating with AGI Scotland and other key stakeholders in the digital technology and data landscape will be a key cornerstone in realising the value-added potential of location data.”

If you missed our launch event you can watch the recording on our Events page or on our YouTube channel.

There are lots of opportunities for Location Data Scotland to engage across industries and sectors and the next few months will see the programme delve deeper into key sectors to unlock the value in location data.

Ensure your organisation joins us on this journey by joining our LinkedIn Group, follow us on Twitter @location_data or get in touch to see how we can help you capitalise on this huge opportunity.