Attended by representatives of the 4,000 public sector bodies that have signed-up to the Agreement, the event highlighted the opportunities and benefits arising from the free access to and sharing of Ordnance Survey data.
The financial benefits, at a time of austerity, have been highlighted in recent Ordnance Survey research which shows that local authorities, police forces and fire services already save more than £125 million annually thanks to the Agreement. It is reckoned this could rise to £0.5 billion if a majority of local authorities and emergency services were to implement the 15 most commonly-built applications George Osborne’s 2016 Budget, delivered on the day of the conference, underlined the need to do more with less following his call for a further £3.5 billion of departmental savings,
It was against this background that conference chair and Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Hampshire Fire & Rescue, Neil Odin, dwelt on questions at the heart of the day’s proceedings: How do we transform our public services for the future? And how do we transform our own thinking and understanding of the communities we serve? For him, the answer was found in the very data-sharing ethos of the PSMA: working better together and avoiding duplication.
Subsequent speakers explained how this ethos was being applied to enhance the work of the Central and Welsh Governments, Defra, Salford City Council, Durham Constabulary and, not least, Ordnance Survey itself. Afternoon workshops gave attendees the opportunity to explore in depth half a dozen projects that have helped transform services: from the better prediction of extreme weather events to improved transport planning, and from city infrastructure mapping to crime prevention and community cohesion.
Among the dozen organisations supporting the event with table top exhibits were Cadcorp, which unveiled an Enterprise License Agreement option for its SIS Map Modeller desktop software, and Europa Technologies, which featured an enterprise-grade address search capability using OS AddressBase Premium. Energeo, a finalist in this year’s Geovation Awards, was promoting its joint venture with SBL UK on the Milton Keynes Smart Open Energy Map initiative, while travel and transport software specialist BaseMap was looking further afield by unveiling plans for launches in North America, Australasia and Asia.
More information on the proceedings can be found at a https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ business-and-government/public-sector/news/2016/psma-annual-conference.html and on the Ordnance Survey YouTube channel