FIG Working Week 2000, 21-26 May, Prague

NSDI in the UK

by Robin A. McLaren

Key words: NSDI, NLIS, Modernising Government, Service Procurement. 


The vision of a National Land Information Service (NLIS) for the UK was first conceptualised by Prof. Peter Dale at the AutoCarto London conference in 1986 and envisaged fast and easy access to an authoritative, accurate and comprehensive record of all land and property in the UK.

Over the intervening period, the Geographic Information (GI) sector has spent considerable effort in lobbying government and educating the potential service providers and customers about the social and economic benefits of implementing a NLIS. Until recently, this effort only resulted in an endless series of consultative exercises and eventually a small scale pilot project in Bristol, England to support conveyancing. However, in the past 9 months NLIS has been adopted as a Modernising government initiative and is now being taken forward by a partnership between the local government’s Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), the organisation responsible for creating the Information Age infrastructure for local government, and HM Land Registry. The vision is for a one-stop integrated service that will allow users access, via a computer, to various spatially related data sets.

The provision of NLIS related services are currently being procured from the private sector and are the first government services to be procured under the Channel Implementation Policies, issued with the Modernising government White Paper. The launch of NLIS services by the winning license holders is anticipated to be later in 2000.

The paper will review the progress of NLIS from concept to information service implementation and, through the lessons learned, will explore the variety of drivers that have at last made NLIS a reality.

Robin A. McLaren  
Know Edge Ltd. 
33 Lockharton Ave 
Edinburgh EH14 1AY
Scotland, UK 

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