As the closing date for the current GeoVation Challenge to encourage active lifestyles approaches, I thought you’d enjoy this guest post from Gary Downie of Streetkleen Bio, winners of our Business Environment Challenge. In his post Gary explains some of the benefits of entering the challenge and what it can lead to.
“It’s been 6 months since Streetkleen Bio were announced as a winner of the GeoVation Environmental Challenge.”
“Wow” is the general consensus in the office when I make others aware of this fact….
….But what a 6 months it has been!
Let’s start by looking back….
1. understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.
As Founder and Managing Director of Streetkleen Bio Ltd I can honestly say that entering the GeoVation Challenge was one of, if not the single best decision I/we have made as an organisation.
Dr John Walsh and Gary Downie attending the Smarta Awards ceremony at Cafe De Paris in London.
Six months ago we had been developing our ideas from a small garage in North Wales. Our idea of generating renewable energy from municipally collected dog waste was seen by many as a novelty, almost comical to some. However, we had Continue reading 'Wow! Winning the GeoVation Challenge'»
In our latest GeoVation Challenge we’re calling for innovative ideas to encourage active lifestyles in Britain and we’re offering a share of £100,000 in to help the best of these ideas get started. We’re particularly looking for ideas that encourage people, whatever their age, to get outside and be active, whether this be taking a walk or a run, working on an allotment or clearing up litter.
One of the problems of getting outside to be active for people living in areas of disadvantage is that they have five times less access to green space than their more affluent neighbours. Creatively used and well managed open spaces on people’s doorsteps encourage an active lifestyle by providing a place for people and children to meet, play and take part in activity outside.
One of our previous GeoVation winners, Groundwork London, developed an online consultation and surveying tool, the Green Space Mapper, which is used by residents and professionals to capture information about their green spaces, and is geolocated using Ordnance Survey data, so areas can be better developed and utilised.
Find out more about Green Space Mapper and the tool they developed by watching the video below:
Find out more and download the case study
Continue reading 'Green Space Mapper'»
Happy active new year from GeoVation!
I hope you had an enjoyable festive break and start to the New Year. Many people see the start of a new year as an opportunity to set some resolutions to lose weight, or take up a new activity to help them to be fitter. I was glad of a chance to get out running over the holiday period. I love taking part in my local free parkrun which I think is a great example of an idea that encourages active lifestyles. It started locally with a simple solution (it started with just 13 runners doing a weekly time trial in a London Park) 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, location, directions) and has been scaled up – parkruns are now held in 344 locations.
So if you’ve been thinking about ways to be more active while getting some fresh air in the new year, then this is an ideal time to revisit our GeoVation Challenge to encourage active lifestyles. 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.
Continue reading 'Happy Active New Year!'»
We thought it would be a fitting end to the year to give you a quick lowdown on what we have all been doing since our last team blog but firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from GeoVation and Ordnance Survey. Thank you for all your support in 2013. We look forward to running some new challenges and events in the New Year, as well as supporting our existing challenge winners.
Well this has been an eventful few months for the GeoVation team. October saw the arrival of a new member joining on secondment, me ‘Jonathan Field’ you may have seen a few of my blogs and the many tweets being sent out. I joined the GeoVation team from our Design team where I worked as a Graphic Designer and my work included producing literature and stands for the GeoVation team.
In the last year I developed a keen interest in Geospatial Information (GI), having spent 6 months in our Pre and Post Sales Support (PPSS) team learning about a variety of GI software and how our products can and are used by our customers.
Since joining the team I have hit the ground running, researching the problem Pow Wow outputs, not only for the current challenge but for the BITC Southampton hub; attending the Malvern Festival of Innovation where we launched our new challenge; helping at several of the OS OpenData masterclasses, travelling from Southampton to as far afield as Edinburgh; managing our social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter and the Blog; and baking the odd cake or two for the team. In my spare time I have for the last three years been renovating my house from top to bottom and have an end in sight finally…I won’t know what to do with myself once I have finished. Continue reading 'Merry Christmas and Happy Innovating New Year from the GeoVation Team'»
Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities. Their responsibilities include supporting the public so they can protect and improve their own health and making the public healthier by encouraging discussions, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and other people and organisations.
In our guest blog today Kevin Elliston, Public Health Consultant in Health Improvement for the Devon Cornwall and Somerset Centre, explains why they are supporting the ‘ How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? GeoVation Challenge and how your ideas can really help us to get more active.
Obesity will soon supercede tobacco as the greatest cause of premature death in this country. We need to take action now! This is probably not the best way to start a guest blog entry on the GeoVation Challenge. However it is a timely reminder that we all need to look at our lifestyles and how much activity we take in a day or in a week. We know that moderate daily activity can help maintain a healthy-weight but for many of us in the UK our way of life means that we spend far more time sitting down than previous generations.
The ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles?’ GeoVation Challenge can therefore really encourage people to get more active where possible. Public Health England (PHE) has set out one its national priorities to help people to live longer and healthier lives by reducing preventable deaths and the burden of ill health associated with smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, poor diet, poor mental health, insufficient exercise, and alcohol. The GeoVation Challenge will certainly make a contribution to the PHE priority of helping people live longer healthier lives and that’s why we have publicised the challenge to all our local authority public health colleagues in Devon, Cornwall, Isle of Scilly and Somerset. Each local authority has a Health and Wellbeing Board and promoting healthy active lifestyles is a critical success factor for them to deliver their local goals for their local populations.
Continue reading 'Take action to get active'»
In our latest GeoVation Challenge, we are calling for ideas that encourage active lifestyles, particularly in open spaces, such as parks.
Nesta is an innovation charity that runs projects which help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Nesta, in partnership with The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund, are currently running a Rethinking Parks Programme looking for bold and innovative ways to use, manage and make the most of the UK’s public parks.
In our guest blog today Lydia Ragoonanan, Rethinking Parks programme manager explains why we need better intelligence to keep our parks going.
If we measure what matters, then it has to be more than just waistlines if we are to encourage more active lifestyles in Britain. Whilst we have a wealth of data about the benefits of physical activity, our data about how and where people access outdoor spaces is less healthy. Ordnance Survey report that a critical factor to getting out and getting active is having close, easy and pleasant access to outside space.
Both the Rethinking Parks programme and GeoVation’s latest Active Lifestyles challenge aim to address the issue, albeit from different angles.
Continue reading 'Measuring what matters'»
We have just sent out our autumn edition of OS Innovation news, which is packed with lots of exciting news for the GeoVation and developer community – including our current GeoVation Challenge, our visit to Appsworld and more about innovation licences. The newsletter is also available online.
Find our more about:
If you would like further editions of the Ordnance Survey Innovation newsletter to be emailed to you, please sign up here
To mark the launch of our new GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain’, we recently polled 2,000 people to find out about the excuses we make for being inactive.
The research showed six in ten people use the excuse of being too tired while others also use the cold or wet weather, a lack of cash and even needing an early night to get out of doing exercise. Instead of heading out for a walk or jog, more than a fifth claim ‘they’ll go tomorrow’, while 22 per cent say they ‘haven’t got time’. Illness, injury and even having no-one to go with are also popular reasons for avoiding physical activity. It also emerged that the average Brit makes four excuses a week just to get out of exercising or being active, with Monday the most likely day of the week to try and dodge activity. And 44 per cent admit they are becoming more likely to try and get out of being active as they get older.
Physical activity doesn’t have to mean going for an intense run or joining a team sport, it could be as simple as some gardening or walking to the shops instead of driving, but being active is paramount and this doesn’t necessarily have to cost money.
Continue reading 'Six out of ten too tired to be active'»
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 guest post below from Andrew Adams , Senior Lecturer in Sports Management at Bournemouth University, and member of the GeoVation judging panel, explains why he’s interested in the latest GeoVation Challenge to encourage active lifestyles in Britain.
The summer of 2012 was a summer for the sport enthusiast. The summer of 2013 in contrast, with much good weather, was a summer for the sporting activist. The London Olympics were hosted successfully and contained much excitement for many. By 2013, any post-Olympic legacy, in a summer when the sun shone, should have seen some increase or at least maintenance of active participation in physical activity. Despite legacy becoming an overused word it is still unclear whether any great legacy has been left, but many were inspired by the sheer size and complexity of the event itself and certainly it provided notes of inspiration and enthusiasm, as well as a feel good factor, that aspirational challenges can be achieved if we organise and innovate as part of a longer-term plan.
Over the 12 month period following ‘London 2012’ at least five reports have been published that have variously assessed how well England has done in meeting the challenge of increasing and/or encouraging sport participation. The latest of these, from the House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (November 2013), made for mixed reading. Continue reading 'Exercise your right to an active lifestyle'»