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The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the Association for Geographic Information are pleased to announce a strategic alliance, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will see them working closely together to advance the understanding and use of geographic information.  

Dr Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education and Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) holding the Memorandum of Understanding with new AGI Chair Abigail Page, and former AGI Chair David Henderson.

The two organisations share a vision and mission to ensure that geography and geographic information is recognised as an important enabler to the world of big data that surrounds us in the digital economy, and is used more widely across the public, private and third sectors.  

The focus of their collaboration will build on the widely recognised competence of the RGS-IBG in public affairs and the insight of AGI in the use of geographic information. Together they will provide a stronger voice for professional geography in areas and with audiences who can benefit from a better understanding of the roles geographic information and associated technologies, and from using location intelligence, geospatial data analytics and data integration.

The approach will be one of championing a better understanding of geography and the increased use of geographic information to raise awareness, change behaviours, influence market growth, and inform business, policy and community decisions.

Dr. Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: "This is an exciting time for geography. Understanding of the role it plays and insights it provides for some of the biggest challenges society faces has never been better and the opportunities for even greater contribution are immense.

This collaboration provides a basis for enhanced advocacy for geography and geographic information which aligns well with the Society’s first objective of promoting the discipline, including its breadth of technologies and applications, and the Society’s strategic focus on further engaging, developing and supporting the professional geography and geospatial communities.   

This deeper alliance builds on existing collaboration between RGS-IBG and AGI in the professional accreditation and skilling of a new generation of spatially data literate professionals that understand the world in which we live, the processes by which it is changing, and who bring technically competent, geographically enquiring and knowledgeable minds to bear. These attributes deliver significant employment prospects."

Abigail Page, Chair of the Association for Geographic Information said: "We are delighted to be embarking on a new collaboration with RGS-IBG, bringing together our respective skills, communities and strategic focus. Whilst maintaining the identity of our respective organisations, we will together champion the value of geography and our collective expertise in ensuring the newest component of our critical national infrastructure – data - serves the digital economy of our nation effectively by embracing location in all aspects of its collection and use.

Together with RGS-IBG, the AGI recognise that advocacy and engagement with those that are developing, managing, analysing and indeed, funding the collection, analysis and access to big data must be a core part of our strategic activities."

Notes to editors:

  1. For further media enquiries, including interview requests, please contact the RGS-IBG’s Communications and Media Officer, Scott Edwards, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 020 7591 3019 or AGI Chair, Abigail Page This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0)20 7129 1006.
  2. The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830 for 'the advancement of geographical science', today we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting the discipline; advancing, interpreting and sharing new knowledge and applications widely across the research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public, and policy communities; and in supporting geographers, nationally and internationally, from professionals to students. We aim to foster an informed understanding of our world for the benefit of all. The Society has a thriving Fellowship and membership (ca 16,000), including accredited Chartered Geographers; and as a charity its work reaches ca. 3 million people a year. www.rgs.org
  3. The Association for Geographic Information (AGI) is the membership organisation for the UK geospatial industry. The AGI exists to promote the knowledge and use of Geographic Information for the betterment of governance, commerce and the citizen. The AGI represent the interests of the UK's Geographic Information industry; a wide-ranging group of public and private sector organisations, suppliers of Geographic Information/ geospatial software, hardware, data and services, consultants, academics and interested individuals. The AGI, by way of its unique membership forum, brings together this previously disparate community to share ideas on best practice, experience and innovation, and offers access to unparalleled networking opportunities with significant business benefits. But the AGI also wants to facilitate exposure outside of this community, to the challenges and opportunities which are being or need to be met, which could benefit from a collaborative effort from the industry. As such the AGI acts on behalf of the community as whole. Since its formal inception in 1989, it has built up a significant membership base and established itself as the respected voice in geospatial and is themembership body for everyone with an interest or involvement with geospatial. http://www.agi.org.uk/    

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