John Kedar, Director International Engagement Head of International Policy & Engagement Ordnance Survey

Do National and State Geospatial Agencies have a role in 2020?


Change sits on change.  Technology, national policy, customer demand and competition exert increasing pressure on national mapping, geospatial and survey authorities.  Change is inevitable, but in what direction?  More, faster, cheaper, more current and greater attribution are all familiar demands but how are these identified, prioritised and delivered?

 Based on experience in UK and globally, John looks at the challenges facing these authorities and some of the potential approaches that can, indeed must, be taken to remain relevant.  He will touch on some global initiatives and the new UK Geospatial Commission, now forming, that seeks to build greater national economic value from UK data ecosystem. 


John Kedar is a versatile and pragmatic director, executive, senior manager, leader and geospatial expert – skills developed through a wide range of Defence appointments, including in high-stress environments such as Afghanistan, through major charitable Board vice-chairmanship and latterly within Ordnance Survey. He has led organisations of up to 650 personnel, developed Government strategic direction for geospatial, intelligence and engineer activities, and played a key role in furthering the role of geography in the UK and internationally, regularly chairing and speaking at major international conferences. John’s successful military career is best measured by repeated direction to establish and lead new organisations or projects – particularly in the geospatial community. This has continued in his role with Ordnance Survey International: directing international programmes and opening new markets in South America and Africa, by communicating the value of geospatial information and its role of underpinning government, economic growth and citizen services.