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£1.9M DEAL TO MAP OUT THE FUTURE

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Unique digital map data will be shared across more than 500 ...
Unique digital map data will be shared across more than 500

government departments and agencies and help deliver public services

through more informed policy making, planning minister Sally Keeble

announced today.

A groundbreaking, one-year, Pan-Government Agreement pilot between

DTLR and Ordnance Survey will allow the whole of central government

to have data licences for OS national data sets.

Sally Keeble said:

'All government departments and agencies will be able to use Ordnance

Survey data, storing, analysing and presenting a wide variety of

information about UK geographic areas in any way they wish. This can

really make a difference to the way government is able to plan for

better public services.

'For example, local authorities are already able to use this data to

plan roadworks timetables to help reduce inconvenience to road users

as much as possible. We want to open up access to this data for the

whole of central government and its agencies.'

Sally Keeble added:

'My department has contributed£1.9m to this pilot project which will

last until April next year. We hope it will then become a permanent

arrangement.'

Vanessa Lawrence, Ordnance Survey's director general and chief

executive, added:

'Our data already underpins a huge range of vital work including

crime prevention, emergency services, transport planning and land

management. It is already available to every single local authority

in Britain and we want central government to benefit too.'

Users joining from today can use Ordnance Survey data for all

internal business purposes, including intranets, emails, reports and

submissions to third parties.

Notes

1. The Pan-Government Agreement (PGA) will extend and develop

existing supply arrangements between the mapping agency and around 50

departments, who will benefit by having access to a wider range of

map data than ever before and more freedom with how they use it. At

present all local authorities, including fire brigades and police,

already use Ordnance Survey map data.

2. A seminar being held today at Ordnance Survey will explain the

deal to data supply, software and computer systems supply businesses

that will be working with Departments.

3. The pilot, which is planned to become a permanent arrangement,

will support both the drive towards joined up government and the 2005

e-delivery target of more online information across the public

sector.

4. A recent report by the Cabinet Office's Performance and

Innovation Unit (April 2002) stresses the role of geographical

information as a key link between different types of government data.

It says that geographical analysis is an ideal way to understand

issues at a local or community level and co-ordinate action.

5. The new supply arrangements follow the launch of OS MasterMap,

the most detailed and flexible digital map data Ordnance Survey has

ever produced. OS MasterMap users can share and merge different sets

of information through unique computer-friendly numbers identifying

416 million landscape features, including every building and piece of

land. These topographic identifiers, or TOIDs, are ideally suited to

the exchange and delivery of information both across government and

to the general public. The portfolio also includes additional

sophisticated data products pinpointing addresses, roads, and

electoral and administrative boundaries.

6. The PGA will also mean major savings can be made within

government. An example of how this will work in practice is the

electronic Property Information Mapping System (e-PIMS), managed by

the Office for Government Commerce. e-PIMS is an initiative based on

utilising Ordnance Survey map data. It will allow departments to

access and update their own property and workspace information,

thereby improving decision making and realising departmental savings

when procuring, changing or disposing of central estate properties

and workspace. e-PIMS was launched in May 2001 over the Government

Secure Intranet as a Read Only service. An updateable version,

enabling departments to update their own data, was launched in

November 2001. The service plans to offer standard linkages via XML

in May 2002, and is expected to support MasterMap in the operational

service by October 2002. For further information see www.ogc.gov.uk

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