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ODUG have released their report on the Why, What and How of a National Information Infrastructure, taking Open Data policy to the next level. The NII is 'The specification and delivery of a data infrastructure of open public data, maintained to agreed standards, which describes the fundamental components of our society and can be openly accessed, used and re-used by anyone'.

ODUG argue that a properly designed NII is essential to keep the UK at the forefront of the international Open Data movement, and a well constructed and well maintained NII will not only be the driver for the improved use of public money, economic growth in the digital product and services sector and citizen engagement; it will also create a new international benchmark for transparency. The report suggests a blueprint for making an NII a reality, and the steps they believe are required to make it happen.

So what does this mean for AGI members? Many of the Core Reference data sets required for the NII are spatial, and many of the important questions to be answered from the NII have a spatial element at their heart. The report gives examples of how a properly devised NII could help answer policy queries around a National Housing Land Availability Assessment, and also some key questions around health provision. The NII, if made a reality, will have a major effect on the GI marketplace, and it is therefore essential that all AGI members read, consider and comment on the report through email  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Twitter @odugUK (#UKNII).

If you are interested in the policy areas which affect your organisation and the wider geospatial industry then consider getting involved with the new AGI Policy Forum that will be used to review and respond to geospatial policy initiatives such as the National Information Infrastructure. To get involved with the forum or to find out more information, please contact the AGI on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Simon Wheeler - AGI Council


1 Kensington Gore,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 3116