The Value of Information – Accounting for a New Geospatial Paradigm

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jay Pearlman, J&FE, Seattle, WA, United States and Andrew Maurice Coote, ConsultingWhere, Chipperfield, United Kingdom
A new frontier in consideration of socio-economic benefit is valuing information as an asset, often referred to as Infonomics. Conventional financial practice does not easily provide a mechanism for valuing information and yet clearly for many of the largest corporations, such as Google and Facebook, it is their principal asset. This is exacerbated for public sector organizations, as those that information-centric rather than information-enabled are relatively few – statistics, archiving and mapping agencies are perhaps the only examples – so it’s not at the top of the agenda for Government.

However, it is a hugely important issue when valuing Geospatial data and information. Geospatial data allows public institutions to operate, and facilitates the provision of essential services for emergency response and national defense. In this respect, geospatial data is strongly analogous to other types of public infrastructure, such as utilities and roads.

The use of Geospatial data is widespread from companies in the transportation or construction sectors to individual planning for daily events. The categorization of geospatial data as infrastructure is critical to decisions related to investment in its management, maintenance and upgrade over time. Geospatial data depreciates in the same way that physical infrastructure depreciates. It needs to be maintained otherwise its functionality and value in use declines. We have coined the term geo-infonomics to encapsulate the concept. This presentation will develop the arguments around its importance and current avenues of research.