Welcome to GeoVation - Innovation Challenges from Ordnance Survey.
GeoVation Challenges address specific community needs, which may be satisfied, in part, through the use of geography. Entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, innovators can enter our GeoVation Challenges for a chance to win innovation funding to help develop their ideas. You can read our blog posts below and find out find out more about us, our challenges and how to enter.

New OS OpenData products now live

By , 25 March, 2015 8:00 am

Originally posted by Gemma on the Ordnance Survey blog.

Great news this morning, our latest OS OpenData products are now available for download. Announced last month, the four new products in our open data portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. Bringing our OS OpenData offering up to sixteen products, the latest offer you increased detail and accuracy and the opportunity for analytics. They are fully customisable and can work together or be imported and integrated with your own software and database.

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OS OpenData award at the British Cartographic Society

By , 24 March, 2015 8:00 am

Ordnance Survey sponsors and judges one of the British Cartographic Society (BCS) awards and once again this year we will be rewarding cartographic excellence and the innovative use of OS OpenData. The awards are made annually at the society’s symposium which this year promises to be a fantastic event as it is being jointly hosted with the Society of Cartographers (SoC).

OS OpenData award

Your entry can take any form, the only stipulation being that it must contain some OS OpenData. Previous winners have included digital web maps, folded paper maps and we have also commended a beautiful hand-drawn map that was used as a film prop! We expect and encourage a real range of entries and we will be judging them using our cartographic design principles and also the innovative use of the data.

The award comprises a crystal trophy and a framed certificate both to be retained by the winner. We will also be offering a prize to the winner (yet to be confirmed) so make sure you get your entries in before the submission deadline, 30th April 2015.

Reflections of a new GeoVation judge

By , 20 March, 2015 9:58 am

Our second guest blog from Jane Davidson, who was a member of the judging panel for our recent housing challenge.

GeoVation Housing Challenge logo

To have been a judge for the first time on this year’s GeoVation Challenge, calling for ideas to enable people in Britain to live in better places, has been a privilege. The challenge, as always, is about how to better use Ordnance Survey data innovatively to enhance the public’s understanding and experience. If the future is data driven, how can that data be used most innovatively and accessibly? For the last few years, Ordnance Survey has worked with a number of other organisations to find imaginative and sustainable solutions to a whole range of different challenges. They have inspired ideas and actions that would never have seen the light of day without the GeoVation nudge – or perhaps that should be the GeoVation kick!

The challenge, as far as I am aware, is unique. Not only does it ask respondents to resolve each year’s challenge problem, but it forces collaborative working, skills exchanges, peer mentoring and demands the creation of new and exciting solutions and ventures using geography. Those who become finalists have to bring a team to the GeoVation Camp to work on building the selected idea into a prototype enterprise or venture and pitch it to the independent judging panel for the chance to win a share of funding to implement – subject to completion of a satisfactory venture plan. The process is equally gruelling and exhilarating, for both judges and contestants!

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OS Innovation Newsletter — Spring 2015

By , 19 March, 2015 2:18 pm

The spring edition of the OS Innovation newsletter should be arriving in your inbox now, with our news on recent events, current projects, new products, and a cartography competition.

Newsletter Spring 2015

If you would like to be added to the Innovation mailing list, you can sign up here.

Winners of the GeoVation Housing Challenge

By , 12 March, 2015 9:32 am

GeoVation camp 2015

In September we launched our latest GeoVation challenge — ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ — which was run in partnership with Land Registry.

In total, 43 ideas were submitted to the challenge. Out of nine finalists selected to pitch their ideas to our judging panel, three winners were awarded funding to develop their innovation:

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Our involvement in the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp

By , 11 March, 2015 8:00 am

We were recently involved in the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp, a weekend event that was held in Winchester on the 21st & 22nd February and which was devoted entirely to open data. Whilst a couple of weeks may have passed since then, we thought we’d share our experiences from the event with you here on the blog.

The Camp was run as an ‘unconference’; meaning the agenda for the two days was not pre-determined and it was up to the 150 delegates to propose the sessions that would run over the course of the weekend. The organisers had promised however that there would be plenty of opportunities to learn, share and participate in a number of presentations, open discussions and story-telling sessions – as well as plenty of coffee and cake throughout the weekend!

OD Camp Banner

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myPTP’s development and the results so far

By , 10 March, 2015 8:00 am

A guest blog from Liftshare on the development of myPTP, one of the winning ideas from our challenge, ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’. Read more about myPTP as showcased on the OS website.

“easy to use and provided travel plans which were well laid out and simple to understand.“

“results were extremely well received, often producing journey opportunities such as cycling, public transport or car-sharing that staff had not considered.”

“not only is it a fantastic tool, very easy to use, but we are really seeing the benefits to the end user.”

This is just a small sample of the feedback myPTP has received so far and it’s only going to get better!

Enabled by Geovation funding, myPTP was developed by Liftshare, as the first ever planning tool to integrate data for all modes of transport; including walking, cycling, public transport, car-sharing and single occupancy car journeys. And myPTP is the only travel planning tool in the market that can integrate Park and Ride schemes into searches.

It delivers a detailed and interactive personalised travel plan in less than a minute, which can be emailed directly to an individual or viewed online through an interactive page of results.

Details within a myPTP include all viable travel options, journey length times, number of changes, mode of public transport (if applicable), petrol costs, CO2 emitted and calories burnt for journeys displayed.

These are all quickly produced once an individual’s name, email address, start and end postcodes, desired arrival departure times and current mode of travel are collected.

To-date myPTP has been used by organisations such as Centrica, National Grid, Everything Everywhere, University of Oxford, Peterborough City Council and many more to help encourage sustainable travel and create behaviour change.

Below follows a snapshot of some of the projects myPTP has assisted and the results so far:

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Reimagine London

By , 2 March, 2015 8:00 am

London isn’t just a city but a diverse region.

Murad Quereshi, London Assembly Member for the Labour Party and deputy Chair of the Environment Committee and Chair of London Waterways Commission

Reimagine London — sponsored by Ordnance Survey, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Queen Mary University of London — took place on Tuesday in Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The event was part of a larger project, Greater London National Park, which began in September 2014 and which invites Londoners to reevaluate their understanding of their city, of National Parks, and of the relationships between urban and rural; and to imagine how the city could be improved. It was initiated by Daniel Raven-Ellison, a winner of our Transport Challenge with Mission:Explore.

OS floormap

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New OS partner Land Technologies

By , 26 February, 2015 8:00 am

Today we bring you a guest blog from Land Technologies, participants in our Developer Challenge who have gone on to become an Ordnance Survey partner.

Our original submission to the developer challenge was about creating a web application that makes it easy to quickly assess land to judge its potential for development. Many housing projects don’t get started because the initial piece of work of finding a good site at the right price is very difficult. We want to change that.

Preview of Land Insight

Preview screenshot of Land Insight

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Cartographic Design Principles: A clear visual hierarchy

By , 25 February, 2015 8:00 am

Originally posted by the Cartographic Design Team on the Ordnance Survey blog.

We’ve been taking a closer look at each of our Cartographic Design Principles in turn and this week we are delving deeper into A clear visual hierarchy. Although we consider all eight of our principles to be of equal importance when designing a map, this one is of key concern to the successful communication of a maps message. Without a clear visual hierarchy, a map can be confusing to the user and may lead to poor decision making.

Overview map of Great Britain – the labels have a very clear visual hierarchy

Overview map of Great Britain – the labels have a very clear visual hierarchy

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