Last Thursday Ordnance Survey hosted Business in the Community’s (BITC) Southampton Hub network. The Southampton Hub, launched at Ordnance Survey in October 2012, encourages local businesses to support local communities through partnerships and collaboration.
The event included a tour around Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters and a review of the work and initiatives undertaken by the Hub since its launch just one year ago. The session was introduced by Mike Brophy, Development Director, London, South and South East and Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, for BITC, respectively, and chaired by Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair.
Elaine Owen, Schools Sector Manager, introduced the work of Ordnance Survey and Danny Hyam introduced the myriad ways in which Ordnance Survey products and services can be used to mitigate place related problems. The afternoon and evening programme included some inspiring presentations on partnerships between businesses and local schools through BITC’s Business Class programme. This included Wates’ work with Woodland Community College and Cobham’s work with St Aldhelm. Rosy Jones, Enterprise and Employability Manager at Southampton Solent University gave a brief background to the University’s vision for social justice and how engaging students with business can enhance their employability prospects.
Continue reading 'Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub'»
The latest GeoVation Challenge calling for ideas to encourage active lifestyles in Britain is now well underway and we have started to see some great ideas submitted already.
As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.
Some of the ideas submitted so far include FitSift, an exercise search engine designed to encourage users into exercise and then maintain their interest. It will provide motivation by using location data to provide a set of exercise options that are available right now or when the user is ready.
Another idea, Invisible Footpaths, is a location game where a map using Ordnance Survey data displays all footpath/bridleway data in a bold colour. If no one walks the paths the colour starts to fade and die but ‘players’ can keep footpaths alive by walking a path which restores its health/colour and earn badges for paths saved.
Continue reading 'Data sources to help get Britain active'»
We are in the process of putting the finishing touches to our next exciting Innovation Challenge. We have been working hard over the last few months holding ‘Problem Pow Wows’ with key members of the community, public and commercial bodies to develop new GeoVation Challenges to address specific community needs.
All our challenges are aimed at encouraging and supporting the development of innovative applications, products and services that use geographical information to create social, educational, economic and environmental benefit. It aims to provide seed financial funding to a number of ideas, which show the most potential to be developed into sustainable ventures. Continue reading 'Win Innovation Funding – New Challenge Launched in 8 Days'»
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'»
On the weekend of 27/28 April, we’re supporting BlueLightCamp, which is a free event being billed as both an unconference and hackathon. Attracting workers from across the blue light services i.e. Fire, Police and resilience services, the aim is to innovate through promoting good-practice sharing, exchanging knowledge, networking as well as providing an opportunity for concepts and solutions to be tested through the hackathon.
Through two mapping agreements that we have with the Public Sector, Ordnance Survey already works closely with many of the blue light services, providing: digital map products; the sharing and visualisation of data; supporting better problem solving and helping to reduce costs and drive up efficiency levels amongst other aspects. So it seemed entirely fitting to support the BlueLightCamp as we have a further opportunity to engage with and support the very individuals that work in these services.
Continue reading 'Unconference and hackathon weekend – come and innovate at BlueLightCamp'»
With the current focus on the integrity, resilience and sustainability of complex food supply chains – the journey food takes from farm to fork – this post looks at how three GeoVation winners and two GeoVation suppliers are challenging the status quo using geography and geographical information.
GeoVation “How can Britain feed itself?” challenge winner Foodnation : The People’s Digital Co-op has a mission to have neighbourhood Foodnation hubs within bicycle-riding distance of most UK households. It provides an on-line platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area, easily enabling them to buy and sell local organic food and find fruit and veg-box delivery schemes around the UK. This is supported by the Foodnation app launched in May 2012. Working with the Transition town network to pilot the scheme, Foodnation founder Louise Campbell sees the model for the Foodnation Co-operative as being fully scalable in transition towns across UK.
Continue reading 'Geography and Supply Chain Integrity'»
Happy new year from GeoVation. I hope you had an enjoyable festive break and start to the New Year. I spent Christmas fairly quietly at home but after a great holiday in December visiting New York and Costa Rica, I was glad of a chance to catch up and get back out running. I’ve been taking part in my local free parkrun which I think is a great example of an idea starting locally with a simple solution (it started with just 13 runners in a London Park 13 years ago) that embraces the use of digital technology (website registration, bar codes, electronic timing, email and text results), includes the use of mapping data (the course, directions) and has been scaled up – parkruns are now held at 155 locations around the UK with an average of 134 runners at each event.
Photo taken when visiting Cardiff for the GeoVation Showcase. Do you know where it is and what it’s called?
In 2012, GeoVation ran 2 GeoVation challenges. The first, focused on transforming neighbourhoods in Britain and second on connecting visitors and communities to the new Wales Coast Path. We had a great response to these challenges resulting in 9 new innovative ideas that we, together with our partners in the Wales Coast Path Challenge, were able to award funding to and which will help get these exciting ventures off the ground.
Helping to transform neighbourhoods, Community Payback Visibility is an app that will allow the local community in the Staffordshire and West Midlands to nominate sites for work to be carried out by offenders on community service and track the progress. Residents’ Green Space Mapper provides a tool for local residents to have a say in the future of open spaces in their area. Shout Crime will allow people to report hate crimes more easily and Sustaination are using social, local and mobile web technologies to make it cheaper and easier for food enterprises to connect and bring resilience to our food systems
Continue reading 'Happy Innovating in 2013'»
On Wednesday night, we delivered an OS OpenData Masterclass to over 30 developers at the HUB, which is a venue located in Westminster, central London. The HUB’s mission is to provide a place where entrepreneurs, new business start-ups and aspiring ‘change-makers’ can start, grow and scale their business ventures. Hence, it provided us with an ideal spot to run the masterclass – which is an event that aims increase the awareness and use of OS OpenData, to create innovative products and services.
The event kicked-off at 6pm with Ian Holt, Developer Programme manager at Ordnance Survey, welcoming everyone and delivering an introductory presentation around open data.
Ian covered the history behind the global “open” movement, before providing details around the number and types of UK government datasets that are available, through websites such as data.gov.uk.
Continue reading 'Launch of OSDeveloper page'»
Today we have a really great post from Jason Davies of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust who won the ‘How can we transform Neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge with the idea for Community Payback Visibility. Jason’s post is a great way to get a feel for what happens at a GeoVation Camp and the nail-biting climax of the GeoVation Showcase back in June:
Community Payback is unpaid work carried out by offenders on community service and the idea is for the public to nominate sites for Community Payback via an app and track the progress. The government is currently undertaking a review of the probation service and is encouraging probation trusts to be innovative in responding to fundamental change.
It’s Wednesday afternoon, mid-June and we’re back in Southampton. It’s the final of the GeoVation Challenge. The judges have retired to their chambers. We’ve made our case and it’s out of our hands, but the nerves are jangling now.
This is the culmination of a Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust bid for some GeoVation funding. Ordnance Survey run the GeoVation Challenge with development funding awarded to the best and most innovative ways of combining maps and data to benefit local communities.
Continue reading 'Probation, Innovation & GeoVation'»
On 28 August, Ordnance Survey is hosting an event at London’s hottest new business start-up venue – the Google Campus. The Campus is located on the fringe of the Shoreditch area in the capital, an area that has been dubbed “Tech City” by many.
Tech City (a technology hub located in East London) has attracted investment by many companies in recent times and plans to grow the hub even further were announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron, in a speech he delivered in 2010.
Our event in Tech City – “Location, Location, Location – Mapping your route to success” is aimed at the budding Digital Entrepreneur/start-up community who work in the exciting area of location-based app development; whether they are mobile, desktop, server, or platform based applications.
Continue reading 'Location, Location, Location – Mapping your Route to Success'»