Welcome to Geovation's blog
Here you can look through our weekly posts, share your thoughts, become involved on social media and get in touch with us about your blog ideas. Collaborate, exchange ideas, innovate and be inspired through our programme, challenge and location data-lab in the heart of London’s tech-city. In partnership with Ordnance Survey.

Do you want help to kick start your business plan?

By , 8 February, 2016 2:50 pm

Yes? Then this is the event for you. We’re working with Hexagon Geospatial and Sterling Geo on the IGNITE Session. Register now to join us at the Urban Innovation Centre in London on Wednesday 16 March between 4.00 pm and 8.30 pm. IGNITE

IGNITE is a competition offering over $250,000 USD in prizes. All you have to do is create an innovative Hexagon Smart M.App that will solve real world issues in a smart, fresh way. If your idea makes it to the final, you could be in with a chance of winning big – 1st place prize is $100,000.

To launch the IGNITE competition we’ve teamed up to host this collaborative workshop. It offers you a unique chance to work alongside Hexagon Geospatial staff and its partners, including us, to exchange ideas, learn how to use the Hexagon Smart M.App technology alongside OS data, and ultimately kick start a business plan for your Smart M.App.

Continue reading 'Do you want help to kick start your business plan?'»

Book Launch review: How did it go?

By , 5 February, 2016 11:15 am

Last night at the Geovation Hub we hosted a book launch for the book ‘Building a Culture of Innovation’ by author, speaker, former design entrepreneur and board level advisor on innovation, Cris Beswick and co-writers Derek Bishop & Jo Geraghty. Derek has twenty years’ experience leading people and delivering business results in high-volume and complex environments and Jo is the former head of HR for Goldman Sachs France and Switzerland and has sixteen years experience working in change management and behavior change across the globe.

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Water Challenge ideas mapped

By , 3 February, 2016 8:00 am

The Geovation Water Challenge – ‘How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?’ is now closed for entries. Thank you for the 51 mighty ideas submitted, all aiming to address water problems across Britain with either too much water, too little water, poor water quality, aging infrastructure or water use behaviour.

The ideas have now been passed onto our judging panel who will select the finalists to attend our Geovation Camp weekend, 4-6 March 2016. But first, we have of course mapped where all the water challenge ideas have come from (we wouldn’t be OS if we didn’t)! Take a look at our OS OpenSpace map (below) to explore the wide engagement across Britain with the Geovation Water Challenge. You can use the links within the place marks to find out more about the ideas submitted in each place.

Click on this map to find out more about each idea

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What are the Geo trends for 2016?

By , 2 February, 2016 8:05 am

We’re a month into 2016 and it already looks like we’re seeing good things ahead for the geo-services industry. In 2014, the market was valued at £99bn and is set to rise to £170bn by 2020. Geospatially, human IoT encompasses pervasive and interactive emerging applications like location-based services, wearables, health and fitness, indoor positioning, augmented reality, amongst others that heighten consumer engagement. At the Geovation Hub, we’re surrounded, mainly by location-based start-ups, that are combining technology and innovation to make their ideas become a reality. And we believe that location is everywhere, because we’ve got the proof. It’s on trains, it’s in farms, it’s flying with drones and the list just goes on… after doing some research into the geo-services industry, I’ve combined a list of five trends that professionals working in the industry think we’ll be seeing in 2016!

Open Data: Governmental institutions, but also corporates will share their digital treasures and allow for a plethora of new applications that can help addressing today’s challenges. Good examples are Copernicus, Deutsche Bahn, the city of Berlin and Esri’s Urban Oservatory. Continue reading 'What are the Geo trends for 2016?'»

Member news! FATMAP’s new 3D Ski Maps

By , 29 January, 2016 12:00 pm

After a successful launch last season in select European resorts, outdoor mapping company, FATMAP, have dramatically increased the number of ski maps they offer visitors to major resorts in the US, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. The full list can be found here.​ Every map will now be available to download for free with the option to upgrade to premium for extra features.

“We’re re­imagining ski maps” says co­founder Misha Gopaul, “and our mission this season is to get these new maps to as many skiers as possible”. Until now, skiers who stick to the piste have only been able to turn to the piste map for in­resort navigation and more advanced skiers are still using old methods such as contour maps and guide books.

With the combination of 3D mobile technology and a growing community of experts and ambassadors, FATMAP are creating the most powerful ski maps available, capable of calculating terrain information instantly and providing fresh and up­to­date ‘guidebook’ style information straight to your phone. “With FATMAP” says Gopaul “you can know the area like a local on day one.”

The maps show skiers a model of the real­world, a one­to­one map. This allows for a complete view over the entire landscape of a resort both from a distance and in “skier view” where you can explore the resort and its lift­accessed off­piste in virtual reality.

With this level of detail and information, FATMAP provides skiers with the tools to make better decisions and explore the mountains with confidence. This is all achieved by using the very latest ultra high­resolution stereoscopic satellite imagery that is used to produce 3D models of the terrain. These models are supplemented with a vast amount of expert content to turn them into context­sensitive ‘live’ maps.

The information in the maps is gathered and curated by FATMAP using a community of in­resort experts and local mountain professionals. The company is recruiting more content contributors and ambassadors in each resort to ensure each map is the most up to date resource available. Many of the resorts are also partnering with the startup to help give their visitors a better and safer experience. Details of the company’s community can be found at here.

“Our maps are not built in isolation, we involve the entire ski community ­ from brands to resorts to locals to everyday skiers ­ to ensure we can produce the best maps possible.” says Marketing Director, Adam Robinson.

DataSpring API Ready for Alpha Feedback

By , 29 January, 2016 8:00 am

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Today’s guest blog is written by Martin Lea who works in a technical team at Ordnance Survey. Martin has been working on a collaborative project that aims to deliver a new API platform called “DataSpring”. DataSpring is a one-stop-shop, providing developers with easy access to authoritative public sector environmental data.


The project has finished an initial phase of development and is now ready for user feedback. So, if you’re a developer who’s keen to get early access to the platform and provide feedback, please read on!

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Now for the judging to begin!

By , 28 January, 2016 9:00 am

Thank you all for posting your great ideas in the Geovation Water Challenge, responding to our call to help improve water use in Britain, sustainably. In total there were 51 ideas submitted between 1 December 2015 and 27 January 2016. During that time 131 new people registered on the Geovation Ideas Platform.

The next stage is for the judging panel to start reading all of your ideas and select which of these offer the best solution to the water challenge theme and are innovative, use technology, good design and of course, use OS geographical information in the solution.  The judges will be meeting on 10 February and soon after we’ll announce the finalists to be invited to Geovation Camp at Ordnance Survey in Southampton over the weekend 4-6 March 2016. See the timetable.

The finalists selected will have the opportunity to work on transforming their ideas into prototype ventures. They will also identify how to overcome problems in implementing the idea and pitch their ideas to the independent judging panel.

At the end of the weekend up to 3 successful finalists will be invited into a 12 month funded Geovation Programme.

We are delighted to be collaborating with Environment Agency, DEFRA (whose release of thousands of open data sets coincides with the Geovation Challenge), Southern Water, and United Utilities on this Geovation Challenge.

Last few hours to help us solve the Water Challenge

By , 27 January, 2016 8:00 am

Challenge Banner We are entering the final few hours of the Geovation Water Challenge, where we’ve been focusing attention on problems associated with water management, such as ageing infrastructure, too much or too little water, the quality of our water and water use behaviour.

During the Geovation Water Challenge we’ve explored some of these problems and considered why they are important. For instance, finding embankment breach hotspots is important in preventing flooding, as failures can happen with little or no warning. Also two milometres of rainfall in parts of London can cause sewer overflow because of ageing infrastructure buried below ground, so we can’t predict exactly where and when problems will arise. Find out more about the problems in detail here

There is still time to submit an entry but please take a moment to think about how your solution tackles the other problems identified.  We’ve also put together a list to of data sources that can help you to build your idea.

Remember the judging panel will be looking for great solutions grounded in a problem worth solving using our established methodology of ‘Innovation = problem x solution x execution

The challenge is open to 12 noon today – 27 January 2016. Ideas identified for their potential impact will be invited to a Geovation Weekend Camp from 4-6 March 2016 at Ordnance Survey in Southampton, where you will be asked to work on transforming your idea into a prototype venture. You will also identify how to overcome problems in implementing your idea and learn to pitch your idea ‘pecha kucha’ style to the independent judging panel.  See the timetable.

Those selected to be invited into a 12 month funded Geovation Programme will be announced at the end of this camp.

We are delighted to be collaborating with Environment Agency, DEFRA (whose release of thousands of open data sets coincides with the Geovation Challenge), Southern Water, and United Utilities on this Geovation Challenge.

Our challenges are open to UK-based organisations and/or UK residents aged 18 or over and we encourage entrepreneurs, developers, geographers, community groups, and innovators to enter.

Judging the Geovation Water Challenge

By , 26 January, 2016 1:00 pm

We are delighted to introduce the Geovation Water Challenge judging panel. They will be inviting the teams whose ideas are judged to have the greatest potential impact, to participate in the Geovation Camp being held at Ordnance Survey, Southampton from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 March. They will be making their selection of ideas that have the best solution to the published problems that are innovative, make good use of design thinking and of course, make use geospatial and environmental open data.

Our judging panel is drawn from our challenge partners EA, Defra, Southern Water and United Utilities; our independent Geovation Challenge Judging panel Chair, Roland Harwood, co-founder of 100%Open; and Dr Alison Prendiville, our internationally recognized service design expert and former Course Director for the MDes Service Design Innovation at LCC/UAL

image of Roland Harwood

Roland Harwood (Chair) is co-founder of 100%Open, the open innovation agency that works with the likes of LEGO, Orange and Oxfam to co-innovate with their partners. Roland was formerly Director of Open Innovation at NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Graduating with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University, he has held senior innovation roles in the Utilities and Media industries and in addition has worked with 100’s of start-ups to raise venture capital and commercialise technology. In addition he has worked as a TV and film music producer for SonyBMG.  He will be joined by:

Continue reading 'Judging the Geovation Water Challenge'»

Geovation Masterclass Tour Supports £60K Water Challenge

By , 25 January, 2016 1:31 pm

The Geovation Challenge 2015:  ‘How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?’ – closes for ideas this week, on Wednesday 27 January at noon with the chance of winning a share of £60,000 to develop your idea as a new venture, mentored through our Geovation Programme.

Over the last 6 weeks we have taken the Challenge on tour through a series of exciting Geovation masterclasses. Starting at the Geovation Hub, London in December with a team drawn from Geovation and Ordnance Survey, the Masterclass tour has visited Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Swansea; introducing the challenge and geospatial data resources to potential participants.

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