The British Geological Survey (BGS) is working on an initiative to facilitate greater sharing and reuse of ground investigation data to reduce risks, cost and increase productivity and promote innovation.
The Dig to Share campaign has a target to increase donations to the BGS borehole record database and is aiming to add a minimum of 10,000 new digital borehole records by the project end date in July next year.
According to BGS team leader for modelling systems Holger Kessler, who is currently seconded to the Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission as a technical adviser, the project has an important role to play in reducing waste of public resources and improving productivity.
The project is being supported by funding from innovation body I3P and the BGS is partnering with Atkins, Morgan Sindall and HS2 on the initiative.
“Lack of awareness of BGS systems is one of the main challenges,” said Kessler. “Clients don’t ask for data but just the design.”
Kessler said that legal issues, such as worries about liability and who owns the data, as well as not enough resources to submit data and cumbersome systems are also holding back data sharing. “We’re stuck in an analogue mode,” he said. “Value of sharing doesn’t accrue at the level where data is generated and commercial models are built around holding on to data”
Kessler admits that one of the issues with shared data can be that there are little or no details about location and elevation of boreholes.