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.

Are you walking?

By , 26 May, 2015 1:58 pm

This month has been National Walking Month, an annual campaign run by Living Streets to encourage people to walk. During the month Walk To Work Week fell on 11-15 May, and Walk To School Week on 18-22 May.

At GeoVation we have been keen to encourage active lifestyles and in November 2013, we ran our Active Lifestyles challenge — ‘How can we enable active lifestyles in Britain?’ — and as a result we funded some great ideas to get people active in Britain. One of the winners was Medal Routes, an app created by Ramblers Scotland, which allows you to create and share walking routes, set personal goals, track progress, and interact with other users.

Ramblers Medal Routes

Ramblers Medal Routes

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OS at Digital Shoreditch #ds15

By , 19 May, 2015 11:39 am

Originally posted by Melanie on the Ordnance Survey blog.

The Digital Shoreditch event being held at Shoreditch Town Hall has been a great opportunity to showcase our innovations. As a founder partner, we have been involved with the festival for some time and are using it to help explain that there’s more to us than paper maps…

With a number of initiatives developed for the event, we had a good chance to talk to a new and varied audience.

Simulator in use

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OS Innovation newsletter — May 2015

By , 14 May, 2015 9:32 am

If you’re subscribed to our mailing list, our latest OS Innovation newsletter should now be with you. This edition contains information on the launch of the new Geovation Hub, OS OpenMap – Local, and updates to Points of Interest.

OS Innovation newsletter May 2015

If you are interested in receiving all the latest OS Innovation news, you can subscribe here.

Geovation Hub launches its new website

By , 13 May, 2015 8:00 am

Described as Britain’s pioneering location-data hub, the new London based Geovation Hub has just launched its website. The Hub is designed for developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to access support and network with like-minded people, and aims to energise innovation in the UK geospatial industry.

Geovation Hub on Sekforde Street, London

There are three membership options: drop-in, local, and resident. Members are provided with supported access to OS OpenData, APIs, developer expertise, free WiFi and printing facilities, and invites to exclusive OS events. The Hub contains an events auditorium, a workshop, demo spaces, private rooms and shared spaces. Desks and rooms can be booked in advance if desired.

The Geovation Hub can be found at 1 Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1 0BE. It will open later in May.

You can read more and sign up for membership here.

New educational resources from GeoCraft

By , 5 May, 2015 8:00 am

Things have been getting very exciting for GeoCraft over the past few months!

We have been busy creating maps and educational resources for teachers to use with their students of interesting places around the UK. We were able to launch our first free resources for key stage 2 and key stage 3 teachers on glaciated features on Mount Snowdon in February. This teaches pupils about the glaciation process before they re-building the glacier that once existed on Snowdon using Minecraft. The map and resource can be downloaded free from our website.

We’re launching our next Geography resource for our Snowdon map next. This resource teaches pupils about compasses, coordinates and grid references as through a series of activities, including building their own compass in Minecraft.

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Exhibition: 3D map of London at The Building Centre

By , 1 May, 2015 9:02 am

Back in September, we held our Housing Challenge launch in The Building Centre during the London Design Festival. Now on display at The Building Centre is the largest ever 3D model of London, commissioned by New London Architecture and sponsored by OS. The exhibition is free to visit and within a short distance of Goodge Street tube station. The model’s full digital system will be live from 21 May.


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Housing Challenge winners Geovey

By , 17 April, 2015 10:00 am

“I’ve just had a great idea.”

Dangerous words in our office. The two of us run a small business (www.nautoguide.com) aiming to change the world of digital mapping and “great ideas” often lead us astray from the path we should be formally treading. But I just couldn’t keep quiet; I’d been reading the challenge laid out by the GeoVation team and immediately saw how we could make a compelling case.

Richard Reynolds and Dave Barter with Roland Harwood

Richard Reynolds and Dave Barter with Roland Harwood

The challenge centred around the theme of housing and asked, “How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?” I mulled this over whilst grasping a cup of coffee and asked myself who best understands the needs and issues of the community? Is it the powers that be? Is it those servicing the community? No, it’s the community themselves. They always know what needs improving and often know the best way to go about it, why not give them a tool where they can describe their needs, describe their solution and let the good ideas gather momentum? Surely this would enable people to live in better places by giving them a tool to facilitate change.

I turned to my business partner Richard and we began to develop our thinking further. We saw how a well annotated map that could be easily shared across social networks would go a long way to describe the needs and ideas a community may have. We also saw how these ideas could be seeded in a form of consultation by the powers that be, asking communities what they thought of plans and allowing interactive discussion with the map as the basis.

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Win weekend passes for Keswick Mountain Festival

By , 8 April, 2015 8:00 am

Originally posted by Gemma on the Ordnance Survey blog.

We’re thrilled to be a partner at the Keswick Mountain Festival on 14-17 May. Taking place in the heart of the Lake District the packed programme includes speakers like Ray Mears and Alastair Bownlee, music from Mercury Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy and a host of guided activities including MTB biking, hiking, canoeing, navigation training, ghyll scrambling, climbing and so much more. There’s something for all the family with kids activities, food stall and exhibitors on site at Crow Park too.

Keswick Mountain Festival

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Ordnance Survey to open new Innovation Hub

By , 3 April, 2015 8:00 am

OS is opening a new Geospatial Innovation Hub in London, intended to be a centre of collaboration and inspiration in the UK geospatial industry.

Through the challenges held here at GeoVation, OS has awarded almost £650,000 to 28 new ventures, and the Innovation Hub will build on this work.

‘One of the biggest challenges facing the geospatial industry and all those operating in it is: Innovating. As a major industry body there is a responsibility, and an opportunity, for Ordnance Survey to support the geospatial industry and take it forward with this Innovation Hub.

To increase the relevance of our industry we need to expose ourselves to new thinking, to undertake thought leadership and share this in a way that as an industry we lift our gaze. The Hub will enable OS and its partners to work collaboratively with fringe industries, new media, digital and emerging technologies. Our industry is changing. How data is accessed is changing. How data is captured is changing. The industry must respond to these developments and organisations must evolve. It is a competitive environment and organisations that remain static risk stagnating and the danger of being displaced by the new and those evolving.’ — Cathrine Armour, Innovation Hub Programme Manager

The website will launch on 11 May 2015. In the meantime, you can sign up to stay updated.

The Ordnance Survey Innovation Hub will be located on the fringes of London’s knowledge quarter in Clerkenwell, at 1 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE.

GeoVation winners visit Ordnance Survey

By , 2 April, 2015 8:00 am

Last week we invited in the winners of the GeoVation Housing Challenge to find out more about what we would be offering in terms of support from OS and Land Registry and answer any questions.  In the morning the winners introduced themselves to colleagues around the business and Land Registry who could offer support and advice as they develop their websites and apps.

geovey crop
Dave Barter, from Nautoguide, who were awarded £29,000 introduced Geovey as ‘A map-based solution sketchpad for crowdsourcing community improvement ideas’ and gave us an update of where they were with development. They have already started work on research, design and planning the project. ‘Maps are for much more than directions, maps allow people to visualise their surroundings in new ways and spot opportunities for improvement.’

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