What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason talks to George Mccrea, Chief of Staff at Royal Engineers Geograpic to talk about geospatial data in the military.

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One big message

The military has been gathering data around the world for hundreds of years to help with strategic military pursuits, however what many people don’t realise is that the military’s data capabilities are used to improve the lives of civilians. 

[01:05] How George became a data specialist in the Royal Engineers and their role across all areas of defence

[05:30] What the Royal Engineers do with data and how they collect and use it 

[11:40] The huge scope of work for the Royal Engineers, supporting military and civilian initiatives

[16:20] The numerous stakeholders that are needed to support and be supported by Royal Engineers

[20:00] Looking at whether at how the Royal Engineers draw inspiration from the commercial sector to innovate and improve their own operations

[25:40] How data has transformed the way we do everyday tasks and how it has raised the level of data literacy of everyone

[28:25] The skillsets and education of data specialists in the military


Refining data-collection over centuries

The military has long been at the forefront of data collection and analysis. In the 18th century, British generals used statistical analysis to track the movements of enemy troops. In the 19th century, the telegraph allowed for real-time data collection from battlefields around the world. And in the 20th century, the advent of computers allowed for even more complex data analysis. Today, the military is using data to track everything from the movement of other countries to the weather conditions that affect air and sea activity. Even though the private sector has also made significant advances in data collection and analysis, this has only pushed military and defence to improve and keep ahead of the cube. The military’s experience with data collection and analysis is essential to its success not just on the battlefield, but also securing peace and safety for general civilian wellbeing.


The many applications of military data

The military has long been at the forefront of data collection and analysis. For centuries, military leaders have used data to map enemy territory, plan battle strategies, and track the movement of troops and supplies. In more recent years, the military has increasingly turned its attention to gathering data to help the world’s population. This data is used to improve the lives of civilians in a variety of ways. For example, the military has used data to map disaster-prone areas, identify potential sources of conflict, and track the spread of disease. The military’s data-gathering efforts have also been instrumental in developing new technologies and processes that can be used by civilians, such as GPS and satellite imagery.


Data science training through the military

For anyone looking to enter the field of data science, there are many different paths that can be taken. However, one option that is often overlooked is data science training through the military. Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, the military can offer a number of benefits for those looking to enter this rapidly growing field. First and foremost, recruits receive full training and support, regardless of their prior qualifications. This ensures that everyone starts on an equal footing and has the same opportunity to succeed. Additionally, the military offers a unique opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and systems, giving recruits a chance to develop real-world experience. 



The military has long been a data-driven organisation, initially using information to plan and execute missions. In recent years, the need for data has only increased, as the military seeks to protect the peace and security of civilians around the world. To this end, the military collects data on everything to protect the people. From royal events, through to weather conditions the military have a deep knowledge of everything that can impact a society. In a world that is increasingly defined by data, the military will only become more reliant on it in the years to come.



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