Maximising the benefit of past investment : the subsurface agenda : a case study from Glasgow

Barron, Hugh. 2011 Maximising the benefit of past investment : the subsurface agenda : a case study from Glasgow. [Lecture] In: European Commission INSPIRE Conference, 2011, Edinburgh, UK, 27 June – 1 July 2011. British Geological Survey, 1-17. (Unpublished)

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Radically improved access to existing subsurface data could help realise massive cost savings and efficiency gains in planning and development. Examples of changing culture in knowledge exchange by the British Geological Survey (BGS), Glasgow City Council (GCC) and others, demonstrate how this can be achieved, in tandem with INSPIRE, to maximise benefits of past investment in data. Construction is a key industry in Europe (10% of GDP) with UK output alone valued at €126bn (2009). Successful delivery of construction/infrastructure projects depends significantly on correct interpretation of ground conditions; inadequate understanding can result in ‘unforeseen’ ground conditions being encountered which cause half of projects to over-run. This demands better use of existing data and knowledge which is currently prevented by problems in accessing, and restrictions on re-using, these data, and on the lack of obligation for data holders to make data more widely available. As a result, investment, development and construction decisions are commonly based on partial and inadequate data. Clearly, following INSPIRE, these data should be collected once and re-used effectively. BGS’s and GCC are addressing this by synthesising available subsurface data within 3D models. These are ideal for sharing data at a range of levels/scales to support decision-making. However, many data cannot be used for the reasons above. Legislation can improve data access, but collective and mutually beneficial data sharing is an equally attractive and increasingly viable option. Subsurface data should therefore be acknowledged more widely as national assets and held, and made available, for the benefit of all by an impartial National Body (e.g. BGS in the UK). BGS’s 3D modelling is accelerating the culture of improved data accessibility and exchange as is the partnership between BGS and GCC which is providing simplified templates to facilitate standardised digital data exchange between the public and private sectors.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Geology and Landscape (Scotland)
NORA Subject Terms: Computer Science
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Date made live: 22 Aug 2012 13:26 +0 (UTC)

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