What is The PLACE Trust?

The video above was part of an award submission from 2023 where PLACE was named runner-up for Geospatial Initiative of the Year and provides an overview of The PLACE Trust. 

The PLACE Trust is an endowment trust located in the United Kingdom. 

The purpose of PLACE Trust is to store licenced copies of Government data that are then sub-licensed by a wholly owned trading company to members of the PLACE Community under terms of responsible and ethical use. 

The PLACE Trust and its associated UK entities are a core part of the global PLACE organisation and were founded to promote and support public access to, use of, and contribution to, open access mapping and geo-spatial data and other geographical and environmental information for utility by the public. 

Our Philosophy


/plās/ noun
The tangible and intangible associations that encompass location, locale, position, and community and our emotional sense of identity purpose and belonging

Purpose - Trust - Platform

Our organisation is founded on a belief that place (location) data and information is critical for solving the greatest challenges our planet currently faces. Without out it our ability to understand and respond to the impacts of climate change, population growth, urban expansion and resource scarcity simply won’t happen.

The PLACE philosophy and vision is to be the most compelling data trust of mapping data for the benefit of people, community, and planet.

To achieve this we must ensure that our mapping data that is held in the PLACE Trust is timely, affordable, and reliable for both our government partners and the PLACE Community members.
As a team we are passionate about helping governments gain sovereignty over mapping data to better deliver services to their citizens and communities and to create innovation and opportunity.
Underpinning the activity of PLACE are our core 9 Principles guide our purpose, our platform and vitally how we build and maintain trust in an ever changing and developing technology world.

Data Ethics

Ethical and responsible use of location data is an intrinsic part of everything we are building at PLACE and the team has understood its importance long before the creation of PLACE even began. If you are interested to learn more about our history on the topic there is further details in this blog.

As a founding signatory of the Locus Charter (10 principles for the ethical and responsible use of location data), ethical behaviour, trust and the responsible use of location data is at the core of everything we do at PLACE. In order to be seen as legitimate by our community and partners we must ensure that our processes are transparent and that we can be held to account. Similarly, we have to ensure that our members are held to account for the terms and conditions that membership requires. While we hope that in all cases our members behave in a way that meets our principles and agreements, we understand that sometimes this might not be the case. In order to protect against harm and negative unintended consequences we have appointed an independent Ombudsman and established an initial dispute resolution process to deal with any problems that might arise. This process will continue to be refined by our Governance Working Group in partnership with the trustees of the PLACE Trust.