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Linked Data: the glue that binds

By [email protected] - 20th December 2019 - 12:34

The benefits of publishing data from different sources in a way that makes it easy for users to understand and combine are widely acknowledged. This is certainly so in thepublic sector and where linked geospatial data is seen as fundamental to realising its potential value to the national economy, estimated at up to £10 billion.

The message was reiterated by Owen Jackson, deputy director of the Geospatial Commission, at 1Spatial’s ‘Smarter Data Smarter World’ event in November (see page 50). Yet practical guidance on how persistent and unique identifiers can be designed, created and managed to achieve the goal has, so far, been in short supply.

Help is now at hand with the publication of a 16-page guide from the Geospatial Commission that makes it quicker and easier to get an exact overview of all the information at particular locations.* The first of its two sections suggests design identifier schemes that promote the efficient and reliable linking of data, while the second section explores the complementary need for common reference data. Although the primary focus of this work is on geospatial data held by the Commission’s six partner bodies (the Geo6), the guidance is applicable to all data publishers, with the aim of helping them save time and money.

Commenting on its publication in October, Minister for Implementation (now Secretary of State for Wales), Simon Hart MP, said, “Organisations that follow the guidance will really help to start unlocking the value of this data for the benefit of users, innovators, businesses, and ultimately the wider UK economy.”

* Linked identifier schemes: Best practice guide. Geospatial Commission. October 2019. (

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