Today’s guest blog is by Neil Taylor from AccessAdvisr, winners of the How can we improve transport in Britain Challenge. Access Advisr is a website that helps you find out, and rate, how accessible different places, and transport networks are. Unlike other sites, Access Advisr doesn’t rely solely upon static audited information, or the ‘official’ information made available by transport system operators. Uniquely, the site enables people to share their advice and experiences (good or bad) on how accessible they find different places and transport networks in the UK.
Since we participated in the GeoVation Challenge focused on ‘How can we improve transport in Britain’, we have continued developing the BETA version of the AccessAdvisr website through a series of projects in Lowestoft, Milton Keynes and Nottingham.
Continue reading 'AccessAdvisr – 18 months on from our Geovation Challenge'»
The finalists for our latest GeoVation Challenge to get Britain active in the open are busy getting their teams together and preparing for GeoVation Camp. So we thought it would be interesting to look back at one of the previous winners of GeoVation funding and see what GeoVation has meant to them.
Sisters, Helen and Nicola Steer were winners in our Wales Coast Path GeoVation Challenge in 2012 and launched their iPhone app, Real Food Wales last year. The easy to use app, maps over 150 of the best food businesses in Pembrokeshire, helping users access sustainable and delicious food.
In the video below, Helen and Nicola, explain how the GeoVation process helped them. From the openness of GeoVation Camp through to winning GeoVation funding, and then forming their team Mapkin who have worked together to develop this app.
GeoVation winner, Staffordshire and West Midlands (SWM) Probation Trust, have launched a new app to help the public choose what Community Payback work offenders do.
The new app called ‘Get Community Payback’ was one of four winners in the 2012 GeoVation Challenge to transform Britain’s neighbourhoods and was awarded £41,000 from Ordnance Survey to develop the idea.
Probation Trusts across England and Wales run the successful and popular Community Payback scheme. Across Staffordshire and the West Midlands, over 612,000 hours of Community Payback were completed last year by over 4,500 offenders on a community sentence. This equates to over three and a half million pounds’ worth of free labour provided to local communities as offenders payback for the crimes they have committed.
The free app works on all Android phones and allows users to take a photo of a “grotspot” in their local area for offenders to work on. The image, which is automatically geo-tagged giving it an exact geographic reference, is then sent directly to their local Probation Trust to accurately pinpoint the location.
Community Payback projects include litter picking, clearing dense undergrowth, repairing and redecorating community centres and removing graffiti. If the work is suitable for offenders to do*, Probation will arrange for them to go out and do it.
Continue reading 'GeoVation winner launches app to help get Community Payback'»
GeoVation winner, Richard Fairhurst, has launched a website aimed at promoting opportunities for business along the Wales Coast Path.
The new website ‘Growing Routes’ was one of five ideas which was selected to receive funding from Ordnance Survey in the 2012 ‘Wales Coast Path’ GeoVation Challenge.
Heat map showing areas with campsites
The initiative has the potential to generate new jobs and business and help bring about economic growth along the Path. Using the online heat map business can identify areas of opportunity for their new ventures. Through aggregating different sources of open data the website identifies numbers and types of business along the Path and includes other important information in decision making, such as access to road networks.
Continue reading 'GeoVation winner growing routes to new business'»
Earlier this year, Groundwork London, GeoVation winner in our challenge to transform neighbourhoods launched Green Space Mapper, a tool for local residents to have a say in the future of open spaces in their area.
The Green Space Mapper is an online consultation and surveying tool which allows users to build versatile questionnaire which users can associated with locations which have been mapped onto an interactive web map. Developed for use with desktop, tablet and mobile platforms in mind Green Space mapper is a flexible solution for use on site or as part of a desktop survey.
How it works:
The user either taps on link or app icon and they are shown a map showing the extent of the survey area. Using the devices inbuilt GPS/phone triangulation device the Green Space Mapper locates them and zooms to their location. Alternatively if they wish to survey another site or don’t have a location enabled device they can pan and zoom using their touch device to their location. Once a site is selected the survey will start. The user will be asked questions, using a wide variety of response types as well as the option to upload an image. At the end of the survey the user can be sent to a submission page and their survey is safely stored in the Green Space Mapper database.
Continue reading 'GeoVation winner mapping to improve local green space'»
Wales Coast Path GeoVation Challenge winners, Helen and Nicola Steer, have just launched their new iPhone app, Real Food Wales, which will help visitors to the area discover local, sustainable and delicious food.
Last year’s GeoVation Challenge called for innovative ideas using geography and technology which would help connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path, benefiting those who live and work along the route, and beyond and Real Food Wales was one of the 5 ideas we funded. They were awarded a £30,000 of innovation funding to develop their idea. They are part of Mapkin: a team of five people who have worked together to develop this app.
Real Food Wales is an easy to use app, which maps over 150 of the best food businesses in Pembrokeshire, helping users access sustainable and delicious food.
Helen from Real Food Wales, said: “Real Food Wales is an ideal app for anyone looking for a special meal at a restaurant, a bite to eat in a quirky café, the best sausage in town for your campfire or a food experience you’ll never forget. The app utilises our unique network of local knowledge by displaying a large selection of food businesses on an offline interactive map of Pembrokeshire. The map really highlights what an exceptional range of local food businesses are operating in this area.”
The core feature of Real Food Wales is the interactive map, consisting of five zoom levels, which allow users to find the best places to eat out, buy food or have a foodie experience. A unique feature of the app is that it stores an offline map of Pembrokeshire onto the device, meaning that users can still access all of the information even when there is no mobile signal.
Continue reading 'GeoVation winner launches Real Food Wales app'»
Last year we ran a GeoVation Challenge asking how we could transform neighbourhoods in Britain. One of the GeoVation winners was Shout Crime – an idea for app to make it easier to report hate crime. Below David Williamson of Development Keys tells us how this is progressing.
Hate crime is one area of the criminal justice system that, evidence shows, often goes unreported. Recognising the negative impact that hate crime can have on individuals and communities, Ideal for All (IFA), an Independent Living Centre in Sandwell, decided to use its experience and resources to make a real difference. Drawing on the passion of one of its User Groups, a project was conceived to develop a new, flexible and accessible reporting system for hate crime. an application that would provide a crime reporting mechanism for individuals and a visual analysis tool for communities and agencies alike. Recognising the strength of commitment and the technical integrity of the project, Ordnance Survey decided to back the concept and awarded IFA £25,000 to develop the first application for both desktop and mobile technologies.
Building on the excitement of receiving the award, Ideal for All set about the detailed definition of the project that is ‘Shout Crime’. Our newly formed Steering Team, including experts in the field of Information Technology, crime reporting and community engagement, was supplemented with specific skill sets around project management and the delivery of successful web enabled applications. An Invitation To Tender was issued toward the end of 2012 with an aggressive set of requirements for delivery of the Shout Crime application by the end of March 2013. The New Year saw the development contract awarded to BoilerHouse Media, Birmingham and the project was up and running.
Continue reading 'GeoVation winner develops new app to report hate crime'»
Development funding from GeoVation enables innovative ideas to get started. We’ve published case studies in which GeoVation winners, like liftshare, explain what happened after they won funding and how they developed their innovative idea.
liftshare were one of the winning ideas awarded funding in our ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge with their idea for a tool to create individual personal travel plans.
A personal travel plan in itself is not a new idea. However, being able to create a plan with all an individual’s options in one document, with a search time of under 30 seconds, is the innovative idea that was put forward by liftshare. liftshare is a social enterprise, which describes itself as mission-driven rather than profit-driven’ and whose aim is to encourage sustainable transport options and cut carbon emissions by car-sharing. It wants to get people to think about their travel options, but understand that this isn’t always easy, especially for those new to an area or working parents. myPTP’s are individual personal travel plans produced in a single document, which allow individuals to evaluate their transport options while considering CO2, financial and other implications such as calories burnt. This can be used to improve the commute to work and create a modal shift towards more sustainable travel options.
Continue reading 'An innovative idea to see your transport options'»
So what happens if you win funding from GeoVation to develop your idea? We’ve just published case studies in which several of our GeoVation winners explain how they went about developing an idea. One of these, AccessAdvisr, is a platform that enables members of the public to improve the quality of information relating to the accessibility of transport stops and stations, as well as public places. It aims to make difficult journeys easier for people with limited mobility. The idea came from Neil Taylor, of Integrated Transport Planning Ltd (ITP), and was awarded funding in our ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge.
Insight from previous user-needs research conducted by ITP revealed that accessible transport networks and destinations remain ‘hidden’ from clear view. People with limited mobility must often piece together information about the location, quality and reliability of accessible transport networks and destinations from journey planners, online maps, discussion forums and destination websites. AccessAdvisr aims to be relevant to anyone who needs information about the accessibility of transport and places before and during their journey. It puts people who experience mobility impairments in charge of managing and maintaining accessibility information, so that it reflects ‘real-world’ user perspectives.
After securing funding, the key stages of the project were to review and broker existing data, recruit a team of
software developers, establish proof-of-concept software specifications and develop the software. Find out more about how the project has progressed by reading the case study. Continue reading 'Developing an idea to make difficult journeys easier'»
We’re really excited! For many months now we have been working on 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!