Global leaders from national mapping agencies support governments in fight against climate change

by | Oct 8, 2021

The global community of senior leaders from national mapping & geospatial agencies (NMGAs) met to discuss how their organisations will support climate action responses.


Ordnance Survey, Great Britain's national mapping service, has convened an important workshop with senior leaders in the global geospatial community and published a call to action to governments reiterating the strategic value of location data in the fight against climate change.


The statement was created and signed by the global mapping organisations, following the Cambridge Conference workshop hosted by OS, and demonstrates how national mapping and geospatial agencies (NMGAs) are actively supporting national and international efforts in tackling the climate crisis and protecting citizens. The statement calls for ongoing and strengthened commitment to developing appropriate infrastructures to enable data sharing on a global level.


The Cambridge Conference brought together senior geospatial leaders from across the globe to agree how they will support their governments in achieving COP26's four key goals.


David Henderson, Chief Geospatial Officer, OS said; The conference was a unique forum where senior global geospatial leaders were able to connect and discuss the critical action required in our response to climate change and importantly, ensure we have a united vision to solve this challenge. We already have great examples where accurate and trusted geospatial data is already delivering a positive impact – from monitoring and insight with earth observations platform to accurately planning sustainable energy infrastructures.


Many governments, including the UK Government, are drawing on the power of trusted and authoritative geospatial information in helping to hit net zero targets. It's vital that location data is recognised as a fundamental enabler in solving common challenges and supporting sustainability plans globally.”


To read the NMGAs government statement click here.


To help demonstrate the significance of geospatial data, OS has also published a set of seven sustainability innovation trends outlining ways in which the wider geospatial industry is working to combat climate change.


  1. Intelligent mapping for wind and solar farms “ using geospatial data to support renewable energy infrastructure
  2. Green spaces for heat “ using geospatial data to identify sustainable heat sources
  3. Mapping EV charging points “ using geospatial data to enable green mobility
  4. Keeping cool “ using geospatial data to map weather events
  5. Preserving our carbon sinks “ using geospatial data to mitigate climate change
  6. Sustainable urbanisation “ using geospatial data to build sustainable cities
  7. Monitoring climate change “ using geospatial data to track vegetation health.

This report demonstrates ways in which the use of geospatial data – which can be used interchangeably with mapping data, geographical data, and location data – can support a sustainable future.


In the words of the COP26 poster, ˜climate change has no borders'. Location data gives the world a vital lens to assess the impact of the climate crisis and can support governments in identifying mitigation and adaption measures that help fight this global challenge.


Donna Lyndsay, Innovation Lead at OS, comments: Geospatial data is an essential tool in helping us achieve net zero targets and mitigate the impact of climate change. The trends we've identified are the key areas where OS believe accurate geospatial data can deliver innovative and actionable solutions to help tackle the climate crisis and ensure we continue to live sustainable lives.


What we do individually is not going to solve climate change, there must be greater emphasis on data sharing and best practices on a global scale as it's critical we act together and act now. It is heartening to see the collaboration that has come from the Cambridge Conference with global mapping agencies providing valuable insights of how geospatial data is already supporting how we respond to climate change and contributing towards achieving net-zero.


To read the OS sustainability trends report click here.


About Ordnance Survey:

Established 230 years ago, Ordnance Survey is a world-leading geospatial organisation and experienced geospatial partner. They deliver huge value for the UK through their contract with Geospatial Commission, the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PGSA), and share location insights with governments around the world to help them make better-informed decisions.

About the Cambridge Conference:


Every four years since 1928, Ordnance Survey has convened the Cambridge Conference to give mapping and geospatial organisations around the world a chance to connect, share insights on common challenges, and collaborate on matters of global importance.


For more information, please contact Olivia Hill: [email protected] / 07879646742


May Issue 2024