Olive is a dedicated geospatial nerd (!) with a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences from La Sorbonne University in Paris, France. She has spent the last 20 years in the South West of England, where she accrued extensive experience in the use of geospatial data and technology in the environment and law enforcement sectors. Olive Powell is also a chartered geographer (GIS) at the Royal Geographical Society with IBG.
After university, Olive started her carreer in the Environment Agency applying her geomatic skills to coastal and fluvial flood management. She later joined her local police service using geospatial data and spatial analysis skills to understand crime and drug use patterns locally as Criminal Intelligence Analyst for Avon and Somerset Police, and to solve real life problems.
Throughout her career she has been a strong advocate of the capabilities for GIS and the power of geospatial data, and as GIS Manager, headed the geospatial strategy for the police: she developed and grew the use of geospatial tools and data to make better policing decisions locally, providing exemplars to other police service in England And Wales, which led to her influence in advocating nationally for better geospatial services and capability in the police service.
Olive is now the International Lead at the Geospatial Commission, in the Cabinet Office (UK Government) where she is responsible for bringing a coherent UK vision towards an international geospatial strategy and promoting the UK’s geospatial expertise.
Olive is passionate about diversity and gender equality, and co-founded Women+ in Geospatial in March 2019, following many years of being the only woman in the room! She developed the organisation’s Vision and Mission, and continues to further the organisation’s message and objectives.