There has been considerable progress in moving the Business Case for the Collective Approach to INSPIRE and Scottish SDI forwards so time for an update.
The first stage, the Spatial Data Audit, has now been completed. As reported last time thinkWhere were awarded the contract to carry out the work and the resulting report has been an excellent independent endorsement of the proposal.
The audit began with a workshop held in Edinburgh and we believe 30 out of the 32 councils in Scotland attended, as well as the 2 National Parks. This was a terrific level of engagement. At the workshop we looked at the proposal and what was intended going forwards, and then provided more details of the importance of the audit to set out a baseline of where Scottish local government is in terms of Spatial Information and its management. thinkWhere then described how the audit was going to be carried out in two parts:- an online survey to assess the health and readiness to meet INSPIRE and SSDI within local government and a structured process to create an inventory of spatial data created and managed by local government. There would be a tight timescale of 2 weeks to complete both exercises but at the end 33 out of the 35 invited organisations completed the online survey and 21 returned completed data audits. Those involved with similar exercises will appreciate how encouraging this level of response is to those asking for assistance.
The key findings from the survey and a summary of the audit were put into a final report which was presented to the Scottish Spatial Information Board at its meeting on the 29th September. The key finding were that councils wanted more direction from the centre, particularly around meeting INSPIRE obligations, better communications and interestingly that there seemed to be more interest in making council created data available as open data, but no prizes what was identified as the biggest obstacle preventing this. Some interesting things creeping about the internet related to this as well as intriguing letter from APPSI today about what happens to the data when privatising public organisations. If anyone wants to see the report it is on KHub but if you don’t have access contact me and I’ll send a copy.
We have now been ploughing through the data audit itself and this is far from simple. We had a small workshop last Friday with some councils and made some progress but there is still a long way to go and we will be seeking assistance in the near future.
At the same time we are looking at technical options and business models. The latter is not easy as we know what is required but nor precisely what resources are needed to deliver it. The plan is to do some prototyping with some straightforward datasets to provide more information. Looks like some interim solution needs to be put in place for next year.
My main concern is to increase the level of communication around what is being proposed and Iain (P) and I will be working hard on this over the next while.