The 2020 Geography in Government Awards opened for nominations at the beginning of the year, seeking examples of excellence in geography across the range of disciplines and organisations. This is the second year we have held the awards and all the judges were pleased by the outstanding quality and range of examples the profession can offer. Reading the nominations it was very clear that geography in government is a broad profession with excellence across the public sector and a profession which is full of dedicated and talented individuals.
Although we’re unable to host the award ceremony in person this year, I would like to take this opportunity to share the short listed nominations for each category. We are planning to run a virtual ceremony in the near future where the category winners will be announced, along with the overall winner. This overall winner is invited to the hugely prestigious Royal Geographical Society Awards, recognising the impact and importance of geography across the public sector.
So, here are the shortlisted nominations for the category of "Operational Delivery", along with a short description of the work in alphabetical order.
The Housing Completions Model project that the Homes England Spatial Solutions team completed during 2019-2020 has been an innovation in the housing sector. There is no comparable product in the public or the private sector.
The data model produced combines in-house, public sector and procured housing intelligence data. This allows tracking of all housing construction activity in England. A front-end web-application draws on these geographic data to provide access for all colleagues in the agency. Most recently, the work has enabled us to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on housing development, providing insight to drive the agency’s response.
Land and Property Services, Northern Ireland
Land & Property Services (LPS) is responsible for land registration, valuation, rates collection and mapping. LPS plays a vitally important role in supporting economic development in Northern Ireland. LPS collects approximately £1.3 billion of rates revenue helping fund vital public services. Spatial data is helping to inform an ongoing digital transformation programme within the organisation to improve service delivery to clients and citizens. LPS have pulled this information into an innovative map application using Esri ArcGIS Enterprise where staff within LPS can log on and search for information on properties. The integration of this data within a single application has been so successful LPS now have over 300 staff in the organisation using it on a daily basis.
Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)
The OGA geospatial team has developed, deployed and continuously improved geospatial services to industry, academia and government. The team moved an entire geospatial stack to the cloud, significantly increasing the resilience and scalability of the platform. It currently supports over 1.2 million requests per week to its spatial servers, which powers numerous geospatial applications, an Open Data site and a variety of open web services (APIs). These services are used across industry, government and academia to support a wide variety of activities on the UK continental shelf including Energy Transition, Decommissioning and the drive towards Net Zero.
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