Freight News, IT Suppliers, Sea

Open data project to address coastal challenges

[ June 23, 2020   //   ]

The UK Major Ports Group is launching an open data project to gather, organise and present data on the UK’s coastal communities. The goal is to provide a large-scale resource of data, interactive and open to all, to inform and improve policy making and revitalise the UK’s ‘Coastal Powerhouse’.

Working with the Open Data Institute Leeds the project will address the fragmented data and poor definitions of coastal areas that makes it difficult to understand the scale of the challenge and provide the detail to underpin well targeted policy.

Many of these communities’ battle with significant socio-economic challenges  and some may be worst hit by the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. However, they also have unique and important advantages for the UK such as centres for logistics resilience and renewable energy. However, there is no coherent Government strategy for meeting the needs and realising the potential of coastal areas, says UKMPG.

UKMPG chief executive Tim Morris said “Research has shown the challenges that coastal communities often face and ports know from being a big part of these communities that there is huge potential to revitalise the UK’s ‘Coastal Powerhouse’. Politicians need to move on from just the usual ‘north vs south’ soundbites and address the deeply worrying coastal divide. Major ports know the power of harnessing data from driving efficiency and value in their own business. It’s an approach we want to see applied more in policy making and in a way that’s open for anyone to contribute and everyone to benefit.”

Founder and head of innovation for the Open Data Institute, Paul Connell, added: “We think that by being radically open  – where you work in the open, share your data and thinking, be honest about your challenges – you can innovate faster. When people are allowed to join in without permissions or barriers, they will help you find the errors in your data or they will suggest how you should publish something to get the most people using it. It’s fantastic that UK Major Ports Group want to work in the open, they will be generating a massive surplus of value that others can benefit from in the years to come. They will get that value back when someone develops a visualisation or tool that enhances the understanding of coastal communities and more.”