Table of contents
About the talk
The Planet & Smart Cities: Reinventing the high street with geospatial and place-based innovation
As we look at the aftermath of COVID-19 on UK high streets, communities are asking how they can build back better, and prioritise sustainability, health and resilience to avoid future shocks at the centre of their communities. In this session we showcase how Geospatial intelligence underpins the future of a community-based, sustainable high street that truly supports UK businesses. We also look at what innovative applications geospatial can power to give communities even greater understanding of how to build back better.
Ed Parsons - Geospatial Technologist - Google
Vanessa Lawrence - Director - Location International
Laura Foster - Programme Manager Technology & Innovation - techUK (Moderator)
Ed Parsons is the Geospatial Technologist of Google, with responsibility for evangelising Google’s mission to organise the world’s information using geography. In this role he maintains links with Governments, Universities, Research and Standards Organisations which are involved in the development of Geospatial Technology. He is a member of the the Board of Directors of the Open Geospatial Consortium and was co-chair of the W3C/OGC Spatial Data on the Web Working Group. He is a Visiting Professor at University College London and has been an industry advisor to a number of international universities. Ed is based in Google’s London office, and anywhere else he can plug in his laptop. Ed was the first Chief Technology Officer in the 200-year-old history of Ordnance Survey, and was instrumental in moving the focus of the organisation from mapping to Geographical Information. He came to the Ordnance Survey from Autodesk, where he was EMEA Applications Manager for the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Division. He earned a Masters degree in Applied Remote Sensing from Cranfield Institute of Technology, holds a Honorary Doctorate in Science from Kingston University, London. and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a professional member of the British Computer Society.View the profile
Good morning, and welcome back to day 3 at the Codex Festival. My name is Anushka Sharma and I am your petulance. See if the planet and small City stage. I am the founder of notes and Innovation on Space technology consultancy. And it is awesome. To be back with you today. At 8 today. We had sessions held in a hybrid stage taking place at, can you say thank you to the team and all of us because he'd have been joining us in passing and thank you to everybody. He's been cheating, didn't say, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, whatever you might be changing in this. As I said,
it's a planet in spot to see sage and I just like to introduce you to come up to the stage and what we're supposed to cover by way of content. If by any chance, is it? The first time that you joined say, it's all hands on deck at a time in the fight to preserve our planet with 26, climate talks in November, great head when the building for real progress. Some clean trap for energy transition that patient and resilience nature-based Solutions. And find out what they going into some of the hottest trans with climate technology age to join us to hear about the hydrogen decade, and
how are they? I can unlock energy networks. And as far as embalming call the market and how the most inspiring office of that and that generation are spreading the climate action change at message with that. Our next session is all about, Reinventing the High Street with geospatial and place based Innovation, and I'm delighted to welcome home at the races for the session. Her name is Laura Foster, and she's a program manager of technology and Innovation at Tech. UK. Welcome, Laura. The floor is yours. Thank you so much. And thank you so much to you call. Dexter inviting me to
the session stay. So I was just said, my name is Laura Foster and I am the program manager of attacking Innovation at PK. PK is the UK's technology trade Association and we use the technology to empower businesses and people through collaboration and Innovation. We have all the 750 members from all across the tax. Act sets. He says if which on smes and if after the session State you'd like to learn a little bit more about saiki k, then please do not hesitate to reach out to Old Linkedin or do you feel free to reach out to me directly? Discussion today,
will it be specifically Explorer how it's your special day? So location-based ASA can really help local community bills back faster. After the aftermath of covid-19. We want to understand how location intelligence can help pirate. I sustained by the Sea house and Brazilians and make the high Street's livable for the communities that use them. And make sure that when we are building that we are not excluding any form of Thunderbolt communities. In that local area, tai chi chi have been in the last six months, running it to your special day to campaign, looking at how emerging and
transformative Technologies. Compressor. You sliced your spatial intelligence do it throughout the conversation. Stay wants the emphasizing, what the role of a text at 6 and pushing. Chenault local communities. Now, I am absolutely delighted. Be joining the stage with two, wonderful speakers, starting with Ed Parsons. He was a chief technologist from Google and also, Vanessa Lawrence. He was the director at location in sand. I should we start with you to give you a moment to introduce yourself in the way that you do. Thank you. So much. Is a wonderful opportunity to be here
at call gags. I'm just special technologist joins Google 15 years ago, Google to create my own job title, conversation, stuff at my job. Under normal circumstances. We can spend my time outside the organization to be my partner way to obtain data, develop new applications on my way too many of the services that we dated a business and we'll talk later on in this session. High streets creation, you local communities, where technology plays a very important role. Thank you so much, as I'm Vanessa.
Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you are absolutely delicious and very excited to be. I like it. I've worked in GS350. My career starting off actually in the other observation world. I'm moving very much into the hold and Alyssa kowald isolation stage. Today. I should be advised government's, very large organizations and intergovernmental organizations in geospatial, order around the world and very lucky to be one of the lead visors for the World Bank works, with the United Nations being the
founding of the United Nations Committee of experts on Global geospatial Information Management, and for 15 years. I let of Britain's National marketing Authority, which is called Ordnance survey. And I was lucky enough to take it through its. I hope he basically having Digital Data, which most people thought was to make paper map, special through to ditch the underpinning. The whole of the British economy. Thank you so much for Nessa Granddad and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to join the stage with you both today. So before we get started on deep-diving on
some questions around to your special day, so we can High Street. I think it's important to set the scene for attendees. I'm kind of bought the geospatial Sasa bonds cases like in the UK and how we go about. So so much the technicalities of Tatum a thing, but what kind of diesel at the question start with u? Absolutely. Well in England Scotland, Wales, we are incredibly lucky because mapping effects of restarting, unbelievably in 1791 and that was with the founding of Ordnance survey. And it's that, they that today on the pins,
everything you see in Google London, Apple Maps, and in many other applications, but the foundation data and Ordnance survey started to turn its digital in the 1960s and 20,000 changes to that monster map of Great Britain every day. Famous reflecting the change. We see on the ground when we see a garage, perhaps, like emeralds block. Ringtones into a block of flats in order for planning permission to happen. So we here in a great person are incredibly fortunate and I'm sure Ed will agree. We are one of the
best match countries in the world with accessible Foundation data that is available to all citizens, unless he's up to date as anything can be. When it's cooked in the digital world, assisting us to be as a as a nation section leader in this area. What medical history of geospatial day, so which is still so important for all of us today? So maybe a little bit and maybe you think it was a bit of a brief overview as to. How do you special dates are is now being used by local
communities? Accelerating its 11th, the geospatial information, we collect the, the, the infrastructure that Foundation has moved from things in the physical cables pipes, everything to be much more about people and why people are moving through. Situating, the choices of people making, how that, how would I travel a way that choosing to spend that free time where they are working and it's becoming increasingly real time. So you hear a lot about small cities and small City applications to me that the focus about Is about there. The citizens about the
people that live in the cities is a little bit behind the white fundamentally changing. The Production Services are now part of living your life in the city today. I guess if you will, perhaps being brave and traveling back into the soil, may be going outside to make the most of the ability to go have lunch at the pub. You'll look at how public transport. He's operating. Your congestion, is you look at what's that? The prices are supposed to say, you might be having to sit close
to other people using real-time information, that is available to you on your, your mobile devices and that same infrastructure inspiring, what's a new services that take activities? That might happen at the chicken place a restaurant for example, in creating delivery services around the eyes. Burger King to interact with others in Lost 18 months. And so, lucky official details of these days ago about empowering people, but do you think everyday citizens are aware about how much they're using and utilizing geospatial Sasa? And is it
being conveyed to them? Well enough and you're not even a single shaking your head. So I could be well, maybe they already has it relatively superficial install, a nice and recognized the applesauce for that location. I'm passing, don't think about you often. But but the location is fundamental to the way many of these applications. What do you think about that. Joy. Sometimes you just saying they didn't delivery order? Away from the restaurant to you. If you're at your house, that's a great experience.
It improve the user experience. But of course, it's powered by GO station technology. The fact that you can pick up Ali Baba in two or three minutes in central, London is fundamentally because they even knows where it is and your location is being shared when you try to acquire that connection. Between location technology is fundamental to a many of these but it's a superficial level of understanding and as a result of that they're important and ethical concerns or issues about. If we had more knowledge and perhaps a better education
around this, some of those questions might be controversial people. Gracidea Gray. Very much with everything. I just said, you know, I always during the pandemic topping during a number of Tools for Schools and for people who are struggling a little bit and the various things and often in Disguise, because either we are like the chip inside our computers in Aaron, inside our phones and whatever, we've no idea what the majority of his haven't, any idea, what's going on. And then actually
it works and Juice patient was so fundamental to so many decisions people make every day. I'm sorry. I think it's actually covid-19 has brought home two people, the importance of my pain, the importance of education. And the also highlighted that actually so much could be predicted with locational information. And we lucky enough to have worked together twice for substantial number of years, by the times, as working, for the same employer, working in the same team. I am the voice of us have
worked tirelessly, to make, people understand the benefits of location data, and now since the pandemic have a number of people contact me and said, I know, guess it, how Universal this nature is, of course, people always worried about the consequences of every aspect of people, knowing where you are wet, what happened, of course, you know, we have protocols in place and ethical constraints and they are upheld by all of us in the profession. And it's important that I held it. If I buy a property, Yes, very much agree
with everything. You said that an infant's. It it made me think about how when I was on the front of my mom a couple of months ago. And I was trying to explain. What do you say she likes it was she was kind of struggling until I sensed. He was like, let you know when you go on to the UK Government website, you can see how many coronavirus cases are in your local area. All of that is underpinned by Tuesday. She'll say so that she was took me like, oh I see I see the importance of it now so I can I do think we're in Toronto About Love with You special dates and locations dates it since the
covid-19 Pumped on it. I want to make a little bit further than I was looking at how this is actually been using it and you can High Street. Then maybe Ed you have any examples of how people been interacting more with you? Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I think it was a wake-up call for everyone when when I slow down from selling because I think it forced many businesses. He would soon as I agree to talk about online presence in the importance of being on the Internet or something that I
think so we saw a big focus on people or even a small retail boutiques, smooth, specialist jobs and making you some some of the tools in in Google maps, for example, just thought you were thing that business is to be online as well as as bricks and moved in there. Not meant about the offering Seven Seas on my To come to get your haircut while booking to comment and like a restaurant reservation wall, after he is selling material online, that you could then pick up it up. Another Point, lights are on wood Ibis. Really impressed by starting to create communities of
your customers who you might. If you had any local shop on the High Street, you might have known you for a local custom. Now, with these can online communities that were developed in the local neighborhoods around around the world knows community school and online as well. And the tools with a strap to make that happen and it was surprising. And in some ways I think people are supposed to actually have a few existing your bricks-and-mortar businesses on. The Ashley had an online presence and it was something. But there we were always trying to push the say it's really
important to be represented online is completely. Come on people. Now probably running hybrid businesses right now. That can be open in Lacon trade is normal. And the only line part about this mess with that. You kick sausage as a result of covid-19 are in a hundred percent if you got anything you want, but I do not question today was very much. So many service has transformed and talking to people who own businesses on the High Street. They saying that now attracting different types of customers,
but they haven't seen before because you know. Everybody was wondering around their High Street looking what was on offer. But once covid card people needed to find new places. They may happen. Always ask Susan things in. They were carrying, for instance. I think it's been transformational to businesses. Those that still decide which I think are going to struggle even more per spend Emich. Whenever we reach there. I think it said he never really important point that that maybe access to use of data, are in Digital Services, isn't necessary to equal both across
the UK and in the walls. And that rhyme with links to digital inclusion to, when was kind of talking about your special faceit. How can we make sure where or pushing for regional equality in the UK? I understand. That's quite a big question. Sorry. I don't care. Well, thanks, Laura. A lot of those are about your access. This will become the mental infrastructure. They were talking about is very fortunate in the UK. Access to technology and access to be online services about that group on proposition and sell them. But I
would I would change the schedule for that question. So, you know, what about the inequality talked about it since I haven't you a special day to even having an address or where you live or where your business is doesn't exist in many parts of the world and not. So I think we're in Industry. We should be fights. Workington, Ashley. I completely agree with that. However, just come back to the original question. It's very, very interesting. I think the pandemic
will have made up on March 8th to driven in how they analyze things going forward. And I'm really hopeful that they will be. Now we've seen the impact of an equality in real stalk. Everybody citizen that lives here in the UK and seeing where numbers always seem to be getting out that they will be much more infrastructure and Foster poop and Foster system cost of this, into those areas, which hopefully will help that leveling up. But across the world, I work in many, many countries where we Park racing the
bus, just special infrastructures, and results application data, and then off to work and association with companies such as AIDS and others thinking about how do you help people with that? Lost mile or maybe lost Ten Mile inclusion because they don't have addresses. There is no street street names and we are starting from scratch. That was a huge wearing this as to whether this is the government and the state now trying to cheer locate you. So they're all kinds of issues that have to be taken into account to assist the population. But
so often it comes down to Basic Land registration, I bought too many many countries where it's been transformational particularly to the female population system. In drawing outline boundary the first time of where they think they phone and then putting it out to community consultation and agreeing amongst everybody. Yes, that's my profile. And then I can have it aligned. And then, of course, I can borrow to build a business, even if it's a small business, but it makes a difference and starts getting
people in poverty. Of course in Christ and the festival to use facial infrastructure. That must be such a crucial difficult challenge to share a little bit more. It's, it's fine if you do but whatever many in the world and I would like this one, two places. There are many, many, many places where there is a particularly in Africa and South America. Where is patient information at the base? They have is either being created by the military and this hitting from the population or created by
company's commercial companies who do make it available, but they may not have the internet or the most. They will have is a few of them, having a bonfire and you're the one of the interesting things is this location day turn at 2. With tracking you to be able to track when you turn your phone, but it one of the ways that I use that location data is to see when nobody is putting on a nap. I haven't been looking from satellite imagery, where there appears to be communities, because that means they've no electricity.
That means May perhaps are struggling to access any. Any kind of Health Care and other aspects so you can use it in a completely humanitarian way in a completely different way. Thank you so much. For example, if I think you're really touching on how geospatial data can be used or inclusion that which such an important conversation and I'm not sure we're going to be able to address it. Just just in the time that we have to have a question that's come through on, on the the chat function while so you can talk. And if anyone in the audience with my
son questions of cross, please don't want to just hear from, from me this entire time. I'd be delighted if you have any questions at this, this is kind of directed towards you. Vanessa. Would love you to come in on this as well. Grandco has asked how has adopted to ethical concerns with which has a large sections around drawbacks of extracting local days if I'm offering synapse. Yeah, that's so we still have other work. He is very strong processes that have been put in place. I should have three or four years to make sure that we're
very careful about that the use of data that comes from people mobile phones and comes from the fitting that the day-to-day Life by Ira mobile device. The most important of which is about transparency in about control. And we woke up now that make it very clear and our nation is being collected and not collection of information is completely within your control, so we might as well. Do you know of our products and services to work when they don't work as well? Clearly, an application, like Google Maps
for it to where he needs to know where you are and give you a sense of what's around you. The fundamental question of yours off. So, should we be collecting data in this case? You could be collecting way cool information and a good reason for it. Then we shouldn't be doing it. If we do, think there's a strong reason for doing it. Then we need to be really clear and explain. Try use this information to minimize. How that information is, is used Mini Militia amounts of information is collected. I know you
want reviews that information for the pub cuz we collect you that they can get rid of. That takes a lot of it is about transparency about control that I ain't calling the issue. Goes back to that earlier point about it. I actually understanding and education because it's it's Negative implications particularly when you think about it, but unless you've been quite careful with your settings will occasionally information on that place to go. If he embedded within the first off itself,
when that photograph was taken where it was taken on this particular characteristic call of geospatial data patiki about your individual location that we need to be really hyper El Guero in your location in time. And space is like a fingerprint that none of us share the same movements around the world in time and space. So we have to be very, very careful about this collection. We talked about it. The more these issues raised will be for all of us because we shall have an ineligible conversation around you.
Obviously these conversations are very much about Mutual benefit. But you say the around ethics and transparency. This is only just starting to come to the Forefront. Is there maybe any retail sales, all the communities that you highlight people see if he wants to find out more information about this or just wear these conversations all happening. Well, I would recommend Lucas Johnson, which is a piece of work. Stop sign Gathering of people to come up with the best
practice guidelines. You clearly that we look at the end of the ethics of your special day. Should we do in the broader context of, of how old a tree is used across? There are some specific issues, which is a good starting point. And it is a quiet and open dialogue, is a very inclusive organization. Thank you for that. Vanessa. Do you want to come in on that point? We have to have another question asked in the chat, which I'll ask. Otherwise, we need to think about you. So often people are incredibly concerned about
the ethical issues, but they're all times when these very large companies of huge assistance, when there's a crisis, when people need to be found, when, you know, I was working in the area and asking would have the big companies to work with us and they were fantastic as assisting to find hidden signals and things that last time stings are very woke up and is now they perhaps ones, you know, 15 years ago, but now they woke up and they really can be of great assistance. When when Like what 3, what is a billion example of one of the
really great UK success stories, when they use application sites that can be used in times of Crisis as well. So often that angle to take into account. I can't believe that we've already sent that 2 minutes walking. We just have 10 minutes left. I feel like there's so much. I want to ask you first cuz you both just so knowledgeable about these accusations. I say we have had one fantastic question. I'm in the chat from Andre Ward. He asks, with the decline of high streets in recent years Austintown to become and go sit in the sensor. What needs types of activity beyond the retailers and
restaurants, could come in facilitated by geospatial visa, and I know this What do I think? What we're going to see is a lot more where is before in the High Street? It was a transactional as she went to the High Street to buy something and you came away. And now I think the High Street will be much more about services and experiences, and I really do see that they will if we can get it right, be drawers back for people to somewhere where there's a lot happening,
but I think it would be much more Specialists everything before I am in preparing. For this, for today. I was intrigued that close by Wine experience company that's providing and new coffee and tea experiences from all over the world and it's all about geography. And it's tells you about the Joker free of where it's come from, how it's real, you know, the work that's taking it right from the fields, have stayed words. That truck is it crowded out because it's a new experience. So,
I do think they'll be more of that, but it may have an egg. Before I go. I'm on to you, and ask that question. Another breed a great questions coming from piece of his kind of links to it. And he asked, how can we use your special day to regenerate High streets. He says, of the time when he lives most of the units now empty from all the Beauties to form a supermarket and then he specifically asked, how can we help start the communities with your special day to reclaim this face? And this is a very Question to me because the home time where I am
from, it's very much going through a very similar things. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this silver bullets for that. It was the efficient while you're getting your goods and services to people. Now is that I see it's more efficient to use a perspective to Dino's shopping online to get Goods delivered to you. So you don't have to make the journey to the High Street. I think we ought to this one out, wanting more of an experience and driving and need to interact with
people more to come together. And not just that, I need a visit from the table delivery man once a day, I think not focus that, that shift will will continue. That will be I've known retail destinations on the High Street, but I don't think, you know how High Street retail. There's necessarily day you, we just need to change the the equation that Dynamic a game tonight to High Street again, efficient as a way of getting goods and services to people on that might be about you. I'm much more localized where
you might have Services retail on the High Street. That is not much more. I need to the local community, not local community being powered by an online online. Lake communities are increasingly powerful. They can get marketing and sales trying to hurry quickly to to local businesses. If I was like, oh, where Some powerful. But, you know, it might be a soap washing up to create and rice and sell them without container. So you bring your own container and you're so we can continue take one home with you.
That's very different type of retail than the ones. That previously, I think the death of the High Street. 2019, the High Street with changing its nature. It will be dominated. Bye. Bye supermarkets, but maybe not the UK, High Street will come to be much more similar to The High Street that we see in many European and small-sized town. It's a much more, specialized more local Socastee, High Street, feels a little bit different to each other. And I think it can be
powered by, by technology because we can build those local markets, as local communities, 000 people that it won't that local areas to succeed. Exactly. I think I kind of just going off by is the High Street is going to be dominated by the communities on by experience is rather than any traditional models, or even a since you want to come in. I think this is something that's coach change. Something has to change though. What is the commercial model of being part of that High Street? We were saying communities are really important.
Werewolves are all know that local online, communities have become important. And those are hiring in Wilson during the pandemic. Something different that happens that the council stepped in to assist. The business is to be able to stay trading, or to stay in business, by reducing the rights, and things like that. And if you look at the commercial viability of the balance, sheets of these places, one of the biggest expenditures are much bigger than in our household is the
taxes. They have to pay for being open. And so I do think this going to be a change that because in order for housing to be successful in the area, then people will want these local communities to thrive. But if they're finding that, you know, I was talking to a hairdresser and they were playing 26,000 lb in in council tax on a year before you start to get that repaid. It's quite substantial. So maybe that has to change because they are such a benefit to the community to have high streets, particularly if they are Diversified High Springs, you know. I say the same
about yes, or no, the Starbucks, maybe not. But what I say the same about the small sharp as adjusting the stresses of which they all springing up everywhere. I wear that sustainable might be different. Thank you for Nessa. I can't believe we have 2 minutes left and I want to just wrapped up with one more question, really quickly and submit the future case in question. But I'm at Aunt, Vanessa, if you can summarize, how do you both in fish into your special day to be used by local communities and to help me find the high streets in the coming years. And if he can switch or maybe some emerging
technology pasta, thought I'd really appreciate that. I'm past that tent. We move away from the big online stores and I'm getting stuff delivered to a more local version of that where I was all jokes and Beyonce in the markets in the same way. They do that with a very kind of high. Pollo Loco Coco step will be fundamentals test serving very local markets. Understanding the needs of others are local markets. Thank you, Alex and Vanessa. I think go, so I didn't do it's coming. So I see little sis. See, it being used very much to help us understand
carbon Footprints. You do understand all sustainability, many, many communities. And now, doing some surveys that would change our behaviors, and of course, results for intelligence. It's very quick to analyze now, so I see absolutely great change spring forward. Thank you so much to both of. You has been an absolute pleasure to to do this, but will stage with you. I think there's so much more we could have discussed and I would love to pick your brain, even fed of us. Thank you so much spicy food at being cats die. And of course, thank you so much.
That's the oldest office admitting such brilliant questions. I have on this very important topic. I'm going to have but not to you. He will be wrapping up the session. Thank you very much. The station that has impacted all of our Lives during the last year-and-a-half and indeed moving forward. If you say, I'm say, thank you. And again, just to reiterate Lewis comments, that are fabulous. If you're chained in by the application and you're watching that she or I'm experiencing the hybrid conversation. Thank you so much. We really love those
questions and not instruction from you because That's what we want. We want much more of that. So we really do appreciate that. We are getting to be back at 2 p.m. British standard time for the contact best climate Innovation. To join us to hear from the shortlisted companies to decide the best climate Innovation award, whether it's lunch time and we'll be wrapping up this stage. And now, I'll be back at 2 p.m. Make sure that you use the net whacking on the, get some fresh air hydrate and re-energize, and we look forward to seeing you back here on the planet at 2 p.m.
Buy this talk
Interested in topic “IT & Technology”?
You might be interested in videos from this event
Buy this video
Our other topics
With ConferenceCast.tv, you get access to our library of the world's best conference talks.