National Mapping Agreement

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National Mapping Agreement

What is the National Mapping Agreement (NMA)?

The National Mapping Agreement gives government departments and Public Sector Bodies (PSB’s), including both existing and new users, unrestricted access to most of Ordnance Survey Ireland’s (OSi) geospatial data. The NMA is in force since 1st January 2017.

Delivered by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), this new service enables all Government agencies (Departments and public sector bodies) to access OSi geospatial data (usually referred to as Geospatial Information or GI) to assist in mapping, data analytics, scenario modelling and decision making. OSi digital data also underpins key State services, including planning, land ownership and national infrastructure (such as roads, water, gas, electricity, and telecoms).

For example, GI allows public services to be targeted according to location, population profiles, and other variables. In matters of navigation and route planning, GI reduces journey times, emissions and fuel costs. Other benefits include a common spatial reference framework for all policy-making agencies; more consistent and accurate geospatial data; more informed decision-making, and more innovative applications of the available data.

In a nutshell, the NMA means that there will be much easier access to OSI authoritative datasets to everyone across the public sector.

Overview

    •       Centrally funded agreement to provide unrestricted access to OSi’s national mapping products and services for Government Departments and Public Sector Bodies
    •       For the first time it ensures the whole public sector is covered by one single agreement, with the same access to a consistent set of core datasets from OSi
    •       Enabler for more effective joint working between public sector bodies by providing the standardised referencing for the sharing of business data
    •       Basis for creating a collaborative partnership between public sector users of authoritative geographic information and OSi

 

 

Why was it created?

Public sector bodies are strongly encouraged to make greater use of geographic information for the effective delivery of public services. The Irish government’s Public Service Reform Plan advocates the value of using geographic information to improve public service delivery. The National GeoSpatial Strategy outlines measures to optimise Ireland’s geospatial infrastructure for government planning and decision making, part of which includes the provision of an authoritative, standardised, maintained core geospatial reference dataset. The agreement was put in place to help increase the use of geographic information by PSB’s in the decision making process. The Economic Study carried out by Indecon Economic Consultants in 2014 identified annual savings of €82m per annum by PSB’s using geographic information in their decision making processes. “Economic value of the geospatial industry in Ireland”

 

The Economic Value of Geospatial Data

Geospatial data contributes almost €70 million in terms of gross added value to the Irish economy every year. An assessment of the economic value of the geospatial industry in Ireland published by Indecon, a leading independent economic research organisation, revealed that the geospatial industry:

    •       Has an economy-wide impact of €126.4 million
    •       Directly employs 1677 people
    •       Supports the employment of a further 3,087 people
    •       €84.4 million on wages and salaries
    •       Generates sales or output valued at €177.5 million
    •       Contributes over €69.2 million in terms of gross added value to the economy
    •       Saves the public sector €82 million annually due to the use of geospatial information
    •       Generates a time saving to the value of €279 million annually due to the use of geospatial information
    •       Generates competition benefits of €104 million

 

National Mapping Agreement

Our Public Service 2020 https://ops2020.gov.ie/is a framework that supports continuous development and innovation across the public service. Its actions will build a stronger public service and deliver better quality services to the Irish public. Our Public Service 2020 builds on the achievements of previous reforms and sets a path for improvements beyond 2020. There are 18 actions which include new initiatives and actions that will build on reforms already in place.

Public Service Data Strategy 2019  2023 developed in consultation with all Departments, including the CSO, sets out a detailed vision with a set of goals and actions to deliver a more joined-up whole-of-Government approach to how data is used and managed within the Public Service. It aims to put in place a series of measures to improve how data is governed, managed and re-used in a secure, efficient and transparent manner for the benefit of citizens, businesses and policy makers.

The role of Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2018/55 is to provide a generalised legal basis for the sharing of data between public bodies while also setting out appropriate safeguards under which such sharing should take place.

The new eGovernment Strategy https://egovstrategy.gov.ie/ has been developed to build upon the earlier (eGovernment 2012-2015) with the aim of succinctly setting out the next phase of eGovernment in Ireland. The Strategy focuses on 10 key actions which cover a range of themes including presentation of services, secure online identification, underlying infrastructure and appropriate skilling.

 

Benefits

Data Financial Savings

    •       Enhanced value to the State
    •       Reduced contract management costs for Public Sector Bodies and OSi
    •       Less bureaucracy and time spent on VAT/individual contracts

 

Data Sharing

    •       Supporting Government’s business by helping to use and sharing location based data in projects with fellow Public Sector Bodies, contractors and with the public, etc.

 

Better Location Based Decisions

    •       Common spatial reference framework for better decisions

 

Enhanced Relationships

    •       Partnership forum to be established to give Public Sector Bodies input into future direction of OSi as a state resource
    •        OSi having a vested interest in all public bodies and in turn the achievement of Government strategy in these organisations

 

National Mapping Agreement

The Role of Geospatial Information at Policy Level

Public sector bodies are strongly encouraged to make greater use of Geospatial Information (GI) for the effective delivery of public services. The Irish government’s Public Service Reform Plan advocates the value of using GI to improve public service delivery. The National Geospatial Strategy outlines measures to optimise Ireland’s geospatial infrastructure for government planning and decision making, part of which includes the provision of an authoritative, standardised, maintained core geospatial reference dataset. The NMA also aligns with The EU Digital Agenda, which aims to develop a digital single market across Europe, and the Irish government’s Public Service ICT Strategy, which encourages the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) for delivering public services in a more efficient, shared and integrated manner.

The Importance of Geospatial Information

GI is used not only for mapping, but for data analytics, scenario modelling and decision making. GI can be integrated with other datasets and enable information to be interpreted visually. GI has enormous value to decision makers, for example, it improves navigation and route planning, which reduces journey times, emissions and fuel costs. GI also allows public services to be targeted according to location, population profiles and other variables. In a nutshell, GI is a powerful asset for policy makers and decision makers.

Benefits of the National Mapping Agreement

The NMA gives public sector bodies the same access to a consistent set of core datasets from OSi. The benefits of this are as follows:

More data is available: The user has free access to a greater range and volume of data.

A common spatial reference framework: All users are accessing data from a common spatial reference framework, which makes it easier for organisations to work jointly with one another.

Greater accuracy: A more consistent and systematic approach means that geospatial data is no longer duplicated, inconsistent, incompatible and unconnected across, or within, public bodies.

Enhanced analysis and decision-making: Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications can be used to interact with the data, to display and connect different variables, to identify patterns and trends, and to model ‘what-if’ scenarios. This encourages more informed decision-making.

More efficient public services: Geospatial data makes planning, targeting and delivering public services more efficient.

Money and time savings: Public sector bodies and OSi save time and money because less administration is required.

Encourages innovation: Making geospatial data available to a wider audience encourages new, innovative applications of the data and further enhances the data’s economic value.

Who’s eligible?

The following bodies can apply for access to NMA data:

    •      Government departments
    •      Local authorities
    •      Enterprise boards
    •      Non-commercial semi-state bodies
    •      Health Service Executive
    •      Emergency services
    •      Higher education (for teaching, research and non-commercial activities)
    •      Schools (via the ScoilNet Maps initiative)
    •      Other public bodies (may be eligible via a joint agreement between government and OSi)

 

What Data and services are included in the NMA?

What’s included?

    •       Large scale data
    •       Archived imagery
    •       Discovery data
    •       Boundary data
    •       Historic mapping
    •       Small scale data
    •       Web services

 

What’s not included?

    •       Current imagery
    •       Paper maps
    •       GeoDirectory
    •       LiDAR data

 

At the official launch of the NMA on the 9th March 2017, An Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. jointly welcomed the National Mapping Agreement between the Government and Ordnance Survey Ireland.

An Tánaiste said:

“I very much welcome the formal adoption of a National Mapping Agreement, which will enable all Government bodies to deliver more efficient and less costly public services by encouraging greater collaboration and data sharing”.

Minister Donohoe said:

“The National Mapping Agreement aligns with the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan and the Public Service ICT Strategy. This centralised license agreement will make the same level of service available to a much wider public service customer base at no extra cost to the taxpayer”.

Colin Bray, Chief Executive and Chief Survey Officer of OSi said:

“The National Mapping Agreement, and the geospatial information (GI) that underpins it, will facilitate better decision-making by all State agencies, and improve the planning and allocation of scarce resources, such as housing, transport and water services”.