What's the Role of Digital Licensing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution? / / by Gerry Wildman

Are you interested in learning more about the work of the Geospatial Commission and its partner bodies in setting the direction of travel on digital licensing? Read more to find out about their work and how to get involved... 




The Geospatial Commission and partner bodies have been working on simplifying and harmonising the data licensing landscape over the last twelve months. They combined to introduce the Data Exploration Licence earlier this year; a first step to harmonise licences across the partner bodies and simplify the access and use of geospatial data. We are now doing another round of work to try to simplify things further.

We have all witnessed the rapid growth in geospatial data access and use over the last decade. No longer is data processed in an offline way, but now the expectation is that data is constantly available so we can rapidly access what we need, when we need it.

However, the way data licences are communicated hasn't kept up with the change in technology. In many cases, the licensing process still involves lengthy terms and conditions documents that need to be read, understood and manually signed up to. In today's data-driven economy, we need to develop new ways to license data equally as dynamically as the data we are serving.

We have been working with the Geospatial Commission to understand how best to do this. They have funded a project for their partner bodies to investigate how machine-readable licences (from fully open use through to commercial licences) could be constructed and delivered. By having a clearer, unambiguous way of labelling data with terms that easily explain what can be done according to the licence we will transform the speed and efficiency at which that data can be accessed.

We need stakeholders to help us shape the direction of travel. Join us in exploring our next steps by being a part of our evidence gathering consultation process, which will start with a workshop on October 23.

Please email BGS Corporate Comms to express an interest in being part of this ambitious project.

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