The Common Ground project

BGS Research

Monitoring shallow groundwater - ground investigation in Glasgow. BGS © UKRI. 

Ground investigations (GI) are routinely carried out prior to the construction of new buildings and infrastructure projects to assess ground conditions and identify ground hazards. It is estimated that GI data is worth £1.2 billion per year to the UK economy. 

The Common Ground project aims to enhance the value of GI data for the UK construction and environmental sectors. Collaborating with the user community, we will identify ways in which GI data services can be improved to address issues around availability, accessibility and usability to help unlock the data’s value. 

The team will: 

  • undertake a valuation exercise to better quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits of capturing, using, sharing and re-purposing GI data, using the Geospatial Commission’s established framework for measuring the value of location data
  • explore, through targeted market analysis, ways in which GI data held by BGS could be more usefully presented and delivered to unlock further value 

The Common Ground Project is a one-year initiative funded by the Government Office for Technology Transfer (part of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT)). The project is led by BGS, supported by a team of researchers and consultants from Difference Engine and economists from the Geospatial Commission (DSIT).

The project builds on previous work such as:


If you are a user or producer of GI data and would like to be involved in the project please get in touch with the team via BGS Enquires ( or contact Steph Bricker

Further information

Arnhardt, R, Dobbs, M, and Terrington, R. 2023. Urban geoscience report: application of geotechnical and engineering geological data and information. British Geological Survey Open Report OR/22/049. (Nottingham, UK: British Geological Survey.) (Unpublished.)

Bricker, S, Terrington, R, Burke, H, Dobbs, M, Arnhardt, R, Kearsey, T, and Thorpe, S. 2022. Urban geoscience report: the value of geoscience data, information and knowledge for transport and linear infrastructure projects. British Geological Survey Open Report OR/21/065. (Nottingham, UK: British Geological Survey.) (Unpublished.)

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