Accessing digital maps has never been easier thanks to the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) “ a centrally funded licensing agreement between Government and Ordnance Survey.
The PSMA allows geographic data to be widely available, free at the point of use and shared between all public sector organisations across England and Wales.
A record 4,000 public sector organisations have now registered for the PSMA, including 150 central government customers, over 400 local government users, nearly 250 NHS organisations, over 100 emergency service customers and in excess of 3,000 local councils.
The 4,000 member to sign up to the PSMA was Transport Focus, the independent passenger and road user watchdog.
Over the last five years the PSMA has helped users across England and Wales to save themselves millions of pounds thanks to accurate location data. Through analysis of the 15 most commonly built applications using data from the PSMA, research shows that local authorities, police forces and fire services are already saving over £125 million every year.
The study also showed that much further headroom for efficiency gains exist, through the more widespread development and use of PSMA-based applications. For instance, if a majority (75%+) of local authorities and emergency services were to implement just the 15 most popular PSMA-based applications, savings would rise to over £0.5 billion each year.
The study identified the 15 most popular PSMA based applications. These include:
- Civil contingency or emergency planning and response.
- Fraud prevention/analysis/detection.
- Highways “ maintain, plan and build.
- Identifying future needs for schools.
- Local transport services.
- Location of winter grit bins.
- Protection and conservation.
- Public sector estate rationalisation.
- Regeneration “ urban & rural.
- School and special educational needs transport.
- Service demand management and future planning.
- Siting public services/enabling access.
- Statutory consultee planning obligations.
- Transforming citizen engagement.
- Waste collection and recycling.
For examples of these applications see OS case studies.
John Kimmance, OS Director for the Public Sector, said; To reach 4,000 registered organisations for the PSMA is fantastic and highlights the important role which OS data is playing in delivering vital services across Great Britain.
The PSMA includes a range of premium mapping datasets from large-scale topographic data to a database of 30 million residential addresses. Members can also access road and highway data, water network information and a selection of flexible vector mapping products ideal for web and mobile applications.
John added: Location data, through the PSMA, has become an important tool in projects and decision making across government. It is not just efficiencies and savings which are being delivered, location data is also playing a critical role in the delivery of vital citizen services and helping users to gain greater insight and intelligence into communities.
An area which really interests OS is the use of location data in future technologies and the vital role which it has to play in the areas of Smart Cities, the Internet of Things and how it is being used to tackle real world challenges facing our urban environments.
For further information on the PSMA visit: www.os.uk/psma