• Steps to GeoVation funding - watch the video
  • Green ventures get the green light to innovation funding
  • How can we encourage active lifestyles? See the 74 great ideas

Team Ordnance Survey “storm” to a running challenge.

By , 30 July, 2014 8:00 am

Regular GeoVation blog readers, may remember a few weeks ago I posted about the active challenge that myself and colleagues at Ordnance Survey were undertaking to raise money for our corporate charity Southampton Women’s Aid a charity which provides help and assistance to women and children affected by domestic abuse.

Photo of Ordnance Survey team ready to run

Ordnance Survey team ready to run

We did it!  On the weekend of 26- 27 July  our team of 5,  Matt White, me, Matt Pillinger, James Clarke and James’ wife Vicki completed the Adidas Thunder Run 24 hour running challenge which started at 12 noon on Saturday and continued through the night with each of the team running 10km laps in turn for 24 hours!    Also with us was our  ‘team manager’ Den Alexander who played an invaluable role in keeping us organised and healthy in mind and body over the weekend!   Below is an update of how the weekend went.

When we arrived on Friday night nothing could have prepared us for the sheer number of tents and runners there – it was like a music festival – only for runners! Having never done an event like this before none of us knew just how long we could keep going, and we were all very nervous!

Having registered and got our numbers, timing chips and baton and attending the pre-race briefing,  12 noon on Saturday soon arrived and James was ready on the start line to get us going to a cracking start!  The course was described as technical trail which meant that it was hilly (149 metres of ascent on each lap) over grassland, tree routes and track.  It started with a hard 2km climb up through woodland and then undulated through grassland and more sections of woodland. There was one water station between 5 and 6km and then a further climb followed by the ‘technical section’ which meant a narrow trail with switchbacks and tree roots galore for about 1km. This was followed by a further climb to a ridge (with views for miles) and then down back through the Continue reading 'Team Ordnance Survey “storm” to a running challenge.'»

Growing Routes for business

By , 22 July, 2014 8:15 am

‘The Wales Coast Path should be an engine for regeneration and prosperity – encouraging businesses to launch and expand along its 870 miles, bringing jobs and opportunities to local residents.’ Richard Fairhurst.

Richard’s idea, ‘Growing Routes’, a website with online heat map to help business identify areas of opportunity along the Wales Coast Path and aid economic growth, received funding in the 2012 ‘Wales Coast Path’ GeoVation Challenge.

Wales attracted 890,000 international visitors spending £333 million during 2010, but this information is either not widely understood or contextualised for local businesses to exploit. Richard wanted to help business to take advantage of opportunities created along the Wales Coast Path and identify the ‘sweet spots’ to start or grow their business.

After receiving funding, Richard set about building the website and heatmap engine and pulled in data from the back-end database, displaying it attractively. The Growing Routes website was launched in October 2013 and the core of the site is an easily accessible, draggable and zoomable heatmap of Wales. It integrates open datasets from different sources; including OS OpenData, Meridian2, and several Natural Resources Wales datasets such as Landmap.

Continue reading 'Growing Routes for business'»

Step up to the mountain challenge

By , 11 July, 2014 8:00 am

This September GeoVation winner, guerrilla geographer and explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison is going to step up to the height of Mount Everest (29,029ft) only using stairs in London tallest buildings.

How high can you climb by using stairs in your house, school or neighbourhood? Can you step up to the height of a mountain?

Image and link to Step up Mountain mapping tool

Inspired by Daniel’s urban expedition, Ordnance Survey have created this great step mountain calculator mapping tool to help you step up to the mountain challenge and calculate the buildings or  mountains you have climbed the equivalent height of: Continue reading 'Step up to the mountain challenge'»

Using open data to engage government and communities

By , 8 July, 2014 8:15 am

City Farmers is a community interest company, set up by Helen Steer and Pete Boyce in 2011 after receiving GeoVation funding in the GeoVation Challenge to help Britain feed itself. City Farmers helps local government and communities engage with sustainability issues through data, mapping and activism. They particularly focus on issues that involve food, micro enterprise and local economies.

City Farmers map image

The project began by researching existing growing provisions, communities, projects and challenges within Lambeth. The team specialises in using open data to create multi-layer maps, which have proved incredibly valuable at visualising and framing the problems, enabling conversations between individuals, communities, charities and government. It has developed a range of maps showing food growing, crime, education and various other types of ‘data topography’. City Farmers also support and create grassroots projects, run workshops and organize collaborations.

They started with a geographical focus on Lambeth, including specific areas such as Vassall Ward, one of the most deprived areas in Britain. Now more established, they have worked across South London, in Hackney, and even as far afield as Wales.

Continue reading 'Using open data to engage government and communities'»

Finding great food along the Wales Coast Path

By , 4 July, 2014 8:15 am

GeoVation winners, Helen and Nicola Steer’s idea for a mobile app to help visitors to the Wales Coast Path to find the best local, sustainable and delicious food was awarded funding in the 2012 Wales Coast Path GeoVation Challenge.  They wanted to connect them to local businesses and communities, benefiting those who live and work along the route and showcasing local food. However, the ‘solution’ came with its own problem: working around the poor mobile reception along the route, particularly in West Wales.

After receiving funding the sisters formed Mapkin, a small company based in South Wales and London, which uses mapping and technology to create and support social change. Mapkin’s team of five worked to develop the app; collecting data, coding, mapping and designing the user interface. The iPhone® app, Real Food Wales, was released as a pilot in Pembrokeshire in time for summer 2013.

Continue reading 'Finding great food along the Wales Coast Path'»

Storming to a very active challenge

By , 27 June, 2014 8:00 am

Each year everyone at Ordnance Survey has the chance to nominate, and vote for the corporate charity to support and put all of our fund-raising efforts into. For the next 12 months, we’ll be supporting Southampton Women’s Aid a charity which provides help and assistance to women, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse.

On 26 and 27 July, a team of 5 runners from Ordnance Survey (including me, doing my bit for an active lifestyle!), are taking on a very active challenge, the Thunder Run 24hr to raise money for the corporate charity. This is a tough physical and mental challenge, because Thunder Run is a 24 hour off-road relay race over a 10km circuit against the clock. It can be completed solo or in teams of 2 to 8.  It’s  held in Catton Park in South Derbyshire. The varied terrain includes woodland, grass and track.

Image of Thunder Run team

Continue reading 'Storming to a very active challenge'»

Wales Coast Path – connecting communities and visitors

By , 24 June, 2014 8:00 am

In 2012 we ran a GeoVation Challenge asking for ideas to better connect visitors and communities along the Wales Coast Path, helping to stimulate economic growth and opportunities in the coastal areas.

One of the winners of the GeoVation Challenge was Living Paths!, an idea from Robin Owain to address the problem of lack of local information available on the Wales Coast Path. Some information is published in pamphlets but these are expensive to distribute and difficult to source. Publishing online is possible but can be difficult due to the complexities of web-authoring for most people. Communities in Wales often find it difficult to share information about their locality such as historic buildings, circular paths, geographical features and other points of interest.

Living Paths! Llwybrau Byw! is a project that aims to empower local communities along the Wales Coast Path to create Wikipedia® pages and post stories about their communities, allowing diverse local information to become accessible.

Local people know best about their locality, sights to see and facilities available and through Wikipedia, a digital encyclopaedia; they can share that information.  Better, richer information on Wikipedia benefits the users of the path as well as local people, connecting visitors with local communities through information on locations and points of interest (such as wildlife, shipwreck sites, castles, local tales etc).

Continue reading 'Wales Coast Path – connecting communities and visitors'»

New GeoVation booklet published!

By , 17 June, 2014 8:00 am

We’re pleased to announce the latest version of the GeoVation Booklet has now been published!  The booklet includes information on GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas!

The booklet has some intereImage of the GeoVation booklet cover and hyperlink to downloadsting facts about GeoVation which was launched in October 2009. In that time:

2511 participants have registered

630 ideas have been submitted

77 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and

28 winners have been awarded a share of over £637,000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

There’s information on all our GeoVation  challenges from our first GeoVation Awards Programme in 2009  through our problem focussed challenges aimed at building local resilience. In 2010 we launched 2 challenges focussed on how we could feed ourselves in Britain and reduce the environmental impact of transport in a sustainable way. In 2012 we ran a challenge focussed on resolving neighbourhood problems and building a sense of community, and a further challenge themed around connecting communities and visitors along the new Wales Coast Path to tie in with its launch.  In 2013 the GeoVation Challenge focussed on improving environmental performance, set against the context that UK companies could save £6 billion a year if they used resources more efficiently. Our latest  challenge aimed at encouraging active lifestyles  was focussed on the £8bn cost to the UK economy as a result of our inactivity.

We’ve made the booklet available online, so you can find out how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey, about the 28 winners Ordnance Survey has funded  and the ideas they have launched or which are in development.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

Individual case studies are also available on our website

If you would like a copy of the GeoVation booklet sent to you, please email us at champions@geovation.org.uk

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals. They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.

 

 

We’re really excited! For many months now we have been working on Click here to download booklet creating a GeoVation booklet to include information on  GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas – and now its published!

The booklet  has some interesting facts about GeoVation which has been running since October 2009.  In that time:

  • 1448 participants have registered
  • 509 ideas have been submitted
  • 57 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and
  • 20 winners have been awarded a share of over £435, 000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals.  They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.

We’ve made the booklet available online,  so you can find out more about how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey,  the ideas we have funded so far and the people who make GeoVation happen.  We’ve also made the case studies available individually on line – see our case study map.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

- See more at: http://www.geovation.org.uk/?s=booklet&x=0&y=0#sthash.jKzEvtIB.dpuf

Funding announced for ventures to get people active

By , 28 March, 2014 8:00 am

If you’ve been following the GeoVation blog you’ll be aware that we recently announced the successful finalists from our GeoVation Challenge aimed at finding ideas to encourage people to lead active lifestyles.

Following on from this the Judging Panel met on Wednesday to confirm the winning ventures to get people active and decide how to award the funding.

The £101,000 awarded by Ordnance Survey will be split as follows:

Ramblers Scotland will receive £28,000 in funding to develop Medal Routes App. Rob Burns and Jeannie Cranfield submitted Photo of medal routes team with certificatethe idea to develop a mobile app to add to the existing Medal Routes website. Medal Routes identifies and maps short circular, bronze, silver and gold level walk from walking hubs.  These walking challenges encourage people throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. They can progress from short 15 minute walks to walking for up to an hour.  The development of the app, using Ordnance Survey data, will enable more widespread engagement and breakdown some of the barriers to participation. Wherever people are they will have hundreds of walks at their fingertips and, through games and challenges, incentives to walk and map their own routes.

Continue reading 'Funding announced for ventures to get people active'»

Turning good ideas into great innovations

By , 24 March, 2014 8:15 am

During GeoVation camps, finalists develop their ideas into prototype ventures. To support the teams in this, the camp process is facilitated by service designers who employ design thinking, techniques and processes. In addition to this we are fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of the MDes Service Design Innovation students from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts.  Boris Divjak, one of the design students from the course helped at our recent Active Lifestyles GeoVation Camp and writes about his experience in today’s guest blog below:

 

One of the first things one might notice when visiting the Ordnance Survey headquarters in Southampton is the remarkable size of its logo placed in front of the entrance. The building you are about to enter makes you feel confident that you are there to do some serious business. For the 10 teams competing at the GeoVation Challenge this was perhaps a sign of hope that they might gain an important business partner. For us, students of a service design masters course participating as helpers, it was an opportunity to observe how new, innovative service solutions were being born in the real world.Photo of Service design students at GeoVation Camp

Continue reading 'Turning good ideas into great innovations'»