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Spatial Information Repository

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the purpose is of his Department’s Spatial Information Repository; and which datasets it will hold. (176530)

The purpose of the Shared Spatial Information Service (SPIRE) is to provide a managed data service which supports the delivery of services and policy making by providing access to both up to date geographic information layers which meet agreed data standards, as well as common background data against which other geographic information can be viewed.

SPIRE currently contains approximately 350 business specific layers relating to the strategic outcomes of DEFRA, spanning land and marine environments. These layers include information gathered by the Department, its agencies and non departmental public bodies, Government Departments and non governmental organisations.

SPIRE also holds and manages Ordnance Survey mapping, aerial photography and marine mapping layers as contextual information.

SPIRE has the capacity to deliver data for the management of disease emergencies. This service has been used operationally by members of the DEFRA Network including the Animal Health agency, the Central Science Laboratory, Pesticide Safety Directorate and the RADAR veterinary surveillance team.