The Society has recently responded to two consultations relating to data skills and data use. In these responses, we advocate for geographical skills and thinking as ways to help access the value of geospatial data (data which have a location), and highlight how geospatial data can unlock insight in large and inter-connected datasets. We also raise issues around privacy and ethical use of data.
Our response to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s National Data Strategy consultation highlighted that understanding the location of data, and thinking geographically about data - for example by linking and enriching disparate data sets using location as a common thread or by creating maps and visualisations - is critical to the creation, curation, quality assurance, analysis and presentation of data and datasets of all types. We identify examples of good practice and opportunities for geospatial data use and training, and ways to enhance the delivery of geospatial data skills in geography, and other subjects, in schools and universities. We also caution that uses of geospatial data must be managed carefully so as not to infringe personal privacy, including inadvertently through the linking of data which, when combined, reveal a location and/or an individual’s identity.
The Department for Education’s consultation Digital functional skills qualifications: subject content sought views on proposed qualifications that would develop baseline digital skills among adults. Our response emphasised the importance of ‘spatial literacy’, in particular the ability to use maps on a smartphone or web browser, as an essential digital skill for all adults.
We regularly respond to consultations and calls for evidence from government departments, Parliamentary Committees and other bodies. Read more of our consultation responses.