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Delivering One Scotland - One Geography

Graphic highlighting Public ServicesThe One Scotland - One Geography Strategy was reviewed in September 2009 and the highlights and progress to date are summarised below. In addition new developments with the One Scotland Mapping Agreement from April 2010 are detailed in the highlights section:

Highlights: One Scotland Mapping Agreement

The One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) between Scottish Ministers and Ordnance Survey has been a major element of the One Scotland: One Geography implementation programme in the first phase. Completion of the agreement in April 2009 has been a major milestone in the work of the Geography Steering Group. OSMA is a unique agreement between Scottish Government and Ordnance Survey and from 1 April 2010 the Agreement has been extended to the Scottish Public Sector and their partners without any additional costs. An information note of what this means for public sector organisations is attached.

There are many benefits to be gained from being a member of this agreement. They include:

  • Access to a wide range of mapping products including those which show feature in detail;
  • Freedom to share your data with other public sector bodies in Scotland;
  • Ability to pass data to other parties who are assisting you in fulfilling your public sector obligations;
  • The right to publish your business information in either web or hard copy format to support the dissemination of public sector duties; and
  • A 4 year agreement term ensuring continuity of data supply and licensing.

The One Scotland Mapping Agreement is a key part of One Scotland: One Geography, and members can gain real benefits which in turn will help provide efficient and effective public services.

Summary of Progress in achieving individual objectives of One Scotland: One Geography as at September 2009.

1. Provide strategic vision and leadership to ensure an inclusive, co-ordinated and pragmatic approach to information about Scotland's geographic base.

Leadership has successfully delivered the One Scotland Mapping Agreement as described in the highlights above. Significant progress has been made with the linkages between One Scotland Gazetteer and e-Planning, that have been facilitated by the Strategy. The Strategy has also provided the framework necessary to bring Geospatial Information within Scottish Government's Efficiency and Transformational Government policy area, which in turn has provided a focus for future cost savings. The Geography Steering Group also reviewed the governance structure in November 2009, and will make recommendations in 2010/11 on how this can be improved to deliver on the key requirements and ensure that the leadership is more fully engaged.

2. Ensure access to the most up-to-date and accurate Geographic information about Scotland that can be delivered with best use of resources.

These objectives are now beginning to be delivered, and this is proving to be a major achievement for the Strategy. Although the mechanisms to deliver these objectives have, by necessity, had to evolve over time as technology has changed, the Spatial Data Infrastructure as now defined has been shown to be robust in concept and proven to work in demonstrator projects. Projects funded by Scottish Government during 2009/10 and 2010/11, including Scotland's Places, will transform these into an operational Spatial Data Infrastructure. A priority for 2010 onwards will be to engage with public sector organisations to bring them into the Spatial Data Infrastructure. Major steps have been made in rolling out the One Scotland Gazetteer and linking with the e-Planning project. The Spatial Data Infrastructure will also be developed to support other public sector initiatives and to meet the requirements of public authorities in relation to the INSPIRE Directive as set out in the highlights above. All of this is providing a solid framework for future developments and creation of a strong and flexible Spatial Data Infrastructure.

3. Develop and promote the means whereby geographic information can be shared, within the practical limits of best value so as to give a high quality and knowledge "return" from each set of data.

Delivery of this objective has been a major achievement. The One Scotland Mapping Agreement as described in the highlights above breaks new ground in Britain, both in its scope - the entire public sector - and approach - a partnership between OS and the Scottish public sector. There are now real opportunities to build on this partnership to maximise the benefits of the Agreement. Priority can now be given to other datasets, in the first instance aerial photography, height and marine data, as well as key GI software, with the possibility of further innovative approaches to the procurement of at least some of these.

4. Promote the benefits of geographic information across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors in Scotland, taking account of national and international activities and ensuring that Scotland's successes are celebrated and communicated to an international audience.

Progress in achieving this objective has been mixed. There are some good achievements. The Edinburgh University Project Register and the One Scotland: One Geography web site were both successfully delivered. The Improvement Service GI Strategy Community of Practice is a highly effective communication and discussion tool, and its role within the wider communication of One Scotland: One Geography should be promoted. Relationships with the other Devolved Administrations are very effective with the potential for joint initiatives being explored. In addition through promotion of our approach at European events there is significant interest in our developments. There is an opportunity to build our relationships when the 2011 European INSPIRE/Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference comes to Scotland in 2011.

5. Promote the appropriate technical and professional standards for efficient and effective use of geographic information in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has funded a partnership project between the British Geological Survey and the Scottish Government to deliver a technical manual to define the data, interoperability and web standards required by Public Sector organisations to ensure that partners can contribute to a truly interoperable Spatial Data Infrastructure. This work will be completed in 2010/11. A review of the current governance will consider the requirements for technical support and partnership to take this objective forward.