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.

Location, location, marketing

By , 23 January, 2016 8:00 am

I recently read that 66% of marketers think that location-based adverting is the most ‘exciting’ mobile opportunity for 2016, boy do I blame them? No, of course not. It’s a revolution that’s itching to come alive and change the way that marketers have been traditionally advertising for years. So you thought about buying them really cool pair of shoes that you saw online? And it just so happens that you’re currently walking past a popular shoe retailers down Oxford St. and all of a sudden your phone vibrates… Who is it? It’s them pair of shoes, haunting you with a 25% discount and you haven’t even got to walk to go and get them because you’re within a few metres proximity of the store. Well… the majority of people just won’t be able to resist it! And that’s the reality, because I wouldn’t. Would you?

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Exploring two of the challenge themes

By , 22 January, 2016 12:15 pm

In the Geovation Water Challenge, we have focussed on sustainable water management in Britain under 5 key themes: too little water; too much water; poor water quality; ageing water infrastructure, and; water use behaviour.

We created a persona for each of the themes to help you to identify with the problems and today we turn our attention to the problems of ageing infrastructure and water use behaviour.

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David Bowie: Innovation that can’t be touched

By , 22 January, 2016 8:00 am

As I’m sure you’ve already heard by now, the world lost one of the greatest talents in music on January 10, 2016. It was announced the morning after that David Bowie had passed away peacefully, surrounded by his friends and family from an 18 month cancer battle. An untouchable character had left the Earth forever, but what hadn’t of left us all was the ways in which Bowie innovated throughout his career that spanned over a period of five decades. 

He will always be remembered for the constant re-invention of things either with his musical talent or his physical appearance. Ziggy Stardust with the signature red mullet and lightening thunder bolt across the forehead and cheek, his comfortability with moving from drum and bass to folk to rock to soul, his great artwork and publicized inspirations, they were all innovative. And above all of this, David Bowie said “A lot of what I am is my enthusiasms.” in his 1999 interview with Jeremy Paxman. He believed in himself. And it just goes to show that if you believe in something, and your enthusiastic about it, you’re road to success lies ahead. 

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Exploring the Water Challenge with Ofwat

By , 21 January, 2016 8:00 am

Challenge Banner

On 12 January at the Geovation Hub we held a debate on water challenges from local to the global to encourage ideas and thinking around our Geovation Water Challenge, which closes on 27 January at 12 noon .  From the debate we gained perspectives across a diversity of water players including government, private utilities, third sector, research, green infrastructure and even current water innovators.

Ofwat, regulator of the private water and sewerage industry in England and Wales, were useful contributors– relaying the national water challenges that “keep them awake at night”.

Ofwat made it clear they are not an environmental regulator and do not have a role in directing water companies about what environmental standards must be achieved.  As the economic regulator they seek to create conditions that: Continue reading 'Exploring the Water Challenge with Ofwat'»

Last chance to enter the Water Challenge

By , 20 January, 2016 2:30 pm

There’s only a few days left to enter the Geovation Water Challenge, which closes on 27January 2016 (12 noon) and we don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to enter.

As with previous Geovation Challenges, we are looking for solutions grounded in a problem worth solving using our established methodology of ‘Innovation = problem x solution x execution’ To enable us to unlock the problems associated with water we ran a Water Problem Deep Dive and identified 5 key themes as the focus for this Challenge: too little water; too much water; poor water quality; ageing water infrastructure, and; water use behaviour.  You can find out more about these problems in detail here

Let’s take a look at some of the ideas submitted so far and the themes of the Geovation Challenge they address.

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CES 2016: AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega on Smart Cities

By , 18 January, 2016 8:00 am

CES 2016 – the biggest consumer tech show in the world had Over 6,000 members of the media and 170,000 people that covered over 2 million square feet of exhibition space. Companies like Samsung, Sony, LG and hundreds more showing off the next generation of must-have tech. This year companies all over CES are talking about smart cities, from AT&T and Panasonic to BMW and the US Department of Transportation. Jordan Golson from The Verge interviewed Ralph de la Vega, CEO of mobile and business solutions for AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications corporation about it’s new smart cities initiative to see what he had to say. 

One of the things Jordan said to Vega was “One of the unfortunate things about cities that might cause some trouble for you, is the lack of funding. Even for essential infrastructure improvements, they just don’t have the money to do it. How are you going to overcome that?” in which he replied “You see, the beauty of what we’re showing the city is the same thing that we’re doing for enterprises. And enterprises make their investments because they feel like they can get a return on that investment, so I think what we’re showing the cities, and this is a key aspect of everything we do is, if they invest in the certain technology, we can show them how they can get a return on investment to improve their operations long term, and that’s the same aspect of what we use for businesses today.”

Watch the full interview and find out more about CES 2016 below.

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We need innovation to address our poor water quality

By , 12 January, 2016 8:00 am

The Geovation Challenge is still open until 27 January! The big challenge is: ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’

5 key problem themes the Geovation Water Challenge is calling attention on are: too much water; too little water; poor water quality; aging infrastructure, and water use behaviour. You can find out more detail of the problem cases under each of these themes in our Water Deep Dive and personas.

Today we turn our attention to poor water quality. In our problem persona we highlight the problems experienced by recreational water users, reflecting wider issues in water quality around Britain.

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Innovation to improve water use behaviour? Water for thought this festive season…

By , 28 December, 2015 8:00 am

The 2015-16 Geovation Challenge calls for open innovation in water management:

‘How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?’

Among the current festivities we turn our attention to water use behaviour, one of our five problem focus themes of the Challenge. Our very own Sarah Stead from Ordnance Survey gives us some ‘[water] for thought’…

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so crooned Andy Williams. Right now, you’re probably reading this whilst either; a) sipping a cuppa; b) waiting for the kettle to boil or; c) having just finished doing the washing up from a previous round of drinks and deliberately trying to avoid eye contact for fear of a conversation starting?


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What keeps Southern Water awake at night? Applying geographic science to water innovation

By , 23 December, 2015 8:30 am

The current Geovation Challenge aims to stimulate innovation in ‘How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?’

Southern Water, one of our Geovation Water Challenge sponsors, discuss their own water challenges of ‘what keeps them awake at night’ and what Geovation would mean for them…

“Southern Water provides 4.6 million people with water and wastewater services across South East England. We look after more than 13,000km of water mains and nearly 40,000km of sewers (almost the circumference of the earth, if we connected them all together). The South is already an area of water stress and the population is forecast to grow by 20% in the next twenty years. This increased demand coupled with climate change means Southern Water is facing a challenging future.

SW picture

Image courtesy of Southern Water

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Managing water better, sustainably – where data meets policy

By , 22 December, 2015 8:00 am

In this blog we have been discussing the latest Geovation Challenge: ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’

Today it is the turn of one of our partners, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to give the perspective of policymakers. Nick Haigh, Lead Analyst for Water and Flood Management outlines the opportunities and challenges.

“We have recently announced #OpenDefra, our open data programme and the Geovation Water Challenge fits perfectly with this. We have data, but we also have problems: too much water, too little water, poor water quality, ageing infrastructure and the need for new water using behaviours. We are supporting Geovation because we hope the data, analytical and business community can take new and existing data sources – particularly those made available by our partner the Environment Agency – and use them to develop ways to solve water problems.

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