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Shared data infrastructure for economic growth

Industry 4.0 and the future of automation would depend on digital and geospatial enablement. And for that, it’s essential to create a common framework and a market-focused geospatial data infrastructure. Along these lines, the need for collaboration and an enabling geospatial data ecosystem was discussed at Location World 2019, held between September 5-6 in Singapore.

NG Siau Yong, Director, Geospatial and Data Division & Chief Data Officer, Singapore Land Authority, says, “Geospatial infrastructure means different things to different people. Traditionally, only government agencies created a lot of data but now this is no more the case”.

Since most of the data has a location component, the creation of a common infrastructure would boost location-based services and spur new innovations. With smartphones in our hands, we have all become data collectors. We generate data as we book a cab, order something online, or navigate our way using Google Maps. The sheer amount of data that is generated every hour is colossal; however, there is a growing need for data aggregation instead of data lying around in silos or clusters.

Muhammad Arief Syafi, Deputy for Basic Geospatial Information, Geospatial Information Agency of Indonesia, says, “As we are heading towards a data-driven economy, data sharing is must, along with strengthened collaboration between the public sector and the private sector”.

Mike Davie, Founder, Quadrant is also of the opinion that governments should work hand in hand with the private sector.

He says, “Collaboration is also important because no one has all the data. So we need programs in place and companies working”.

Some formal mechanism has to be set up for meaningful sharing of data across organizations and governments. Earlier, regulations used to be a barrier, but now the data ecosystem is getting more and more enabled and most governments are fast realizing the benefits of a collaborative approach.

With proper regulatory frameworks in place, there should be one baseline for starting and the government should support and incentivize data aggregation. Apart from boosting economies, generating millions of new jobs and enhancing services for everyone, data would be the fuel for technologies like IoT and 5G. Technological preparedness for the future is literally impossible without a coherent data framework and robust infrastructure.