Socio-economic benefits of geospatial information and systems

EuroSDR in collaboration with ConsultingWhere and Enumanation



Senior decision makers, whether in government or the private sector continually weigh up competing investment opportunities in the realization of policy objectives or profits. To argue the case for investment in geospatial information and systems you need to be well prepared. Recent work in the new field of geo-economics has focused on assessing socio-economic benefits in the context of use cases that align with organizational or National policy drivers. This course focused on introducing geospatial professionals to a simple methodology for identifying and articulating economic, social, and environmental benefits in terms decision makers can understand and estimating the return on investment in monetary terms.   


This free course was delivered in two parts. Part 1 was a self-paced e-learning module describing how to build a business case. The participants learned to:

       List key economic and social benefits of geospatial information and systems;

       Identify the policy objectives that geospatial information and systems align to;

       Explain how to quantify the costs and benefits of geospatial information systems; and

       Describe how to build a business case for geospatial information systems. 

Part 2 was a webinar that built on the content of the e-learning through a question-and-answer session with a panel of specialists, allowing delegates to gain insights relevant to their challenges gaining executive-level buy-in for investment plans.  

Course schedule

The course schedule was as follows:

1) Self-paced e-learning module (available from Monday 3rd May 2021)

This has been developed by Nigel Edmead, Principal at enumanation. Delegates were asked to complete this module in advance of the webinar. The e-learning took about 30 minutes to complete.

2) Webinar (Wednesday 19th May 2021, 10:00 - 11:30 CET)

Chaired by Frédéric Cantat (Transformation Coordination, IGN France). This session included short presentations from a panel of specialists: Andrew Coote (CEO of ConsultingWhere) (pdf), Joep Crompvoets Professor, KU Leuven; Secretary-General EuroSDR) (pdf) and Davor Duran (Republic Geodetic Authority of Serbia) (pdf). The remainder of the webinar was given over to answering questions from delegates on how to develop the business case for geospatial information and systems. The webinar was 90 minutes. You can download the recording here.


About the course organisers:

Joep Crompvoets is professor and research manager at KU Leuven Public Governance Institute (Belgium). He holds the chair on ‘information management in the public sector’ and is Secretary-General of EuroSDR – a European spatial data research network linking national mapping agencies with research institutes and universities for the purpose of applied research in the domain of geospatial information management.

Andrew Coote, CEO of ConsultingWhere, has over thirty years’ in the management of location-enabled applications. He has held senior management positions in both the public and private sector in the UK and Africa. His expertise lies in strategy development and implementation, return on investment and market assessment.

Nigel Edmead is a geo-focused learning development specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the geo-spatial sector. He has worked on numerous donor-funded programmes in South East Asia and Africa in land administration and environmental domains and supported the launch of new geospatial products and solutions to the market in the UK. Nigel currently serves as Principal at enumanation, learning development specialists for the geospatial sector.