Shared Spatial Information Services (SPIRE)

The SPIRE project is driving forward the corporate use of GI through the improvement in quality and accessibility of GI, leading its wider use within Defra, its Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies. SPIRE also enables more effective delivery of strategic outcomes by supporting evidence based policy making and delivery. SPIRE provides Defra with a common analytical framework for policy makers and delivery agents, ensuring a shared understanding of complex issues, and enabling further development of the ability of Defra to analyse information by locality.

Geographic information

Defra has a wide range of policy interests, an increasing number of delivery agents and a customer base that is both wide and diverse. The use of consistent, concise and up-to-date Geographic Information (GI) is key to the delivery of the objectives of Defra. Business units have collected GI to meet their unique business requirements, and as such this information was often stored in local databases with limited access to the wider Defra network. This practice has resulted in the inefficient use of resources through duplication in data collection, storage, licence arrangements and different, often incompatible data standards so reducing the potential to share data or develop interoperable data services.

One of the key elements of the Defra GI Strategy identifies the importance of making available corporate datasets of known quality and fit for purpose, to GI users throughout Defra, irrespective of their location. Providing access to GI resources across Defra poses challenges around the range and diversity of the data that needs to be brought together to support its policy agenda, and the need to make it available to such a diverse range of users. Defra is implementing its GI Strategy by improving the way it manages GI through the Shared Spatial Information Services (SPIRE) project.

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Page last modified: 8 January 2008
Page published: 7 February 2007