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.

New simple guides for OS OpenData products

By , 25 August, 2015 3:34 pm

Guest post by summer intern, Jessica Fisher, originally posted on the Ordnance Survey blog.

Under the banner of OS OpenData are over a dozen products which vary in format, scale and design to offer the greatest flexibility and usability possible. These products are all freely downloadable from our OS website – and now there are new start-up guides to using a number of the products.

OS Open Map Local in QGIS

OS Open Map Local in QGIS

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Geovey: what happened next

By , 18 August, 2015 8:00 am

A guest blog from Dave Barter of Geovey, one of the winners of our Housing Challenge, on Geovey’s progress since receiving their first stage funding.

After the excitement of winning funding for Geovey we’ve had to come back down to earth with a “bang” , as the reality of delivering our vision hits home. It’s tempting to think of funding as the end of all your problems: surely you just hand it all to someone else and the work gets done?

If only life were so easy. Within our small business we were already burning the midnight candle in order to deliver our existing commitments. To bring the Geovey concept alive we had to create a number of technology components that allowed users to share their map based ideas with others. This included integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter along with a commenting system tightly integrated with the map and location aware.

We decided that it would be a mistake to rush into the development of these new modules straightaway and spent time investigating a wide range of third party toolkits along with prototyping our own approaches. At one point we were close to choosing an externally hosted solution until we carefully read their user terms and realised that they worked against our plan to make Geovey open and free to any individual. Weeks of prototyping later allowed us to arrive at a point where we knew exactly how to architect Geovey and we’ve used this analysis along with a wide range of user discussions we’d had in order to write the “Geovey specification”.

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Open Street Map Hackathon at the Geovation Hub

By , 12 August, 2015 1:42 pm

Guest blog by Alex Wrottesley and Luke Hampson at the Geovation Hub.

OSM Hackathon

For those of you who don’t yet know them, OSM is an open-source worldwide mapping platform, built by community geographers. Although the OSM community is constantly collecting and contributing new data to the platform they are always looking to find ways to improve their maps by curating open geographic information from other sources, including a range of OS data made available through the OS OpenData portal. In demonstrating the Hub’s role as a place to support innovation across the geospatial industry, we were delighted to host OSMLondon – and provide enough tea and coffee to keep them coding all weekend. Appropriately enough the lunchtime pizzas were kindly sponsored by Pie Technologies.

The weekend kicked-off with the organisers, Matt Amos and Andy Allan, setting the broad theme for the event – “Mobile”. They asked the 25 keen hackers what they were intending to work on and gathered all of the thoughts on a whiteboard. The group decided on three key areas:

  1. Looking in to ways of making OSM mobile compatible and more responsive when used on mobile devices.
  2. Looking into ways in which they could enhance the OSM map, through capturing where WIFI hotspots exist around the UK.
  3. Working to fix software ‘bugs’ that are causing issues with their service.

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Using OS Maps for active lifestyles

By , 7 August, 2015 8:00 am

Ordnance Survey is known foremost for its maps, and many people using OS products (both within and without the organisation) have a keen interest in the outdoors. Particularly since our 2013 challenge, Geovation has taken an interest in ideas and innovations that encourage active lifestyles.

The winners of our Active Lifestyles challenge have found innovative ways to use OS data — the Medal Routes app encourages people to walk and helps them to find routes; Run An Empire is a strategy running game; Tagd allows users to create digital treasure and information trails; and OpenPlay works to connect people to nearby sports facilities.

To further facilitate outdoor exploration, OS has now produced off-road routing for all 15 of Britain’s National Parks in its OS Maps application. this allows people to plot routes along public footpaths and rights of way for walking, cycling and running. OS will also be introducing wheelchair-friendly routes, horse trails and difficulty ratings.

You can find out more about how to use the National Park routing here.


Kick start your start-up! Applications closing soon for the Geovation Programme!

By , 27 July, 2015 10:53 am

Originally posted by Admin on the Ordnance Survey blog.

With just over two weeks to go until applications close for the Geovation Hub’s latest venture, the Geovation Programme, we take a look at where it started and what entrepreneurs can expect from the Programme.

Sign up for the Geovation Pr
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Pledge to #GetOutside with OS

By , 27 July, 2015 8:00 am

Originally posted by Gemma on the Ordnance Survey blog.

Small_logo_OrangeAre you one of the growing number of Brits that has become walk-shy? We want your pledges to get off the sofa, ditch your car and be more active for our #GetOutside campaign.
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Get Outdoors Weekend 2015

By , 22 July, 2015 8:00 am

A guest blog from Jeannie Cranfield of Medal Routes, one of the winners of our Active Lifestyles Challenge.

I’m lucky to live at the foot of the Ochil hills and have spent many happy hours exploring the many paths and enjoying the peaceful surroundings and expansive views.

I’m not a particularly fit or fast walker, I think it’s fair to say I’m a plodder. But who cares, there’s never any hurry and some days in summer, it’s just great to plonk down on the grassy slope, hot and out of puff, feeling the wind caress your cheeks as you lie back and watch the clouds dance across the sky.

Get Outdoors Scotland, 1-3 August 2015

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Innovation newsletter, July 2015

By , 21 July, 2015 8:00 am

The latest edition of our Innovation newsletter has just gone out — with news on the Geovation Hub and Programme, new OS products, and upcoming events.

If you are not yet signed up to our newsletter and would like to receive our updates, please register here.

Innovation newsletter, July edition

Using the Geovation Hub as a Geovation winner

By , 20 July, 2015 8:00 am

A guest blog from Richard Page of Carbon Prophet, a winner of our 2013 Environment Challenge. Several of our winners from various challenges have already begun to make use of the Geovation Hub and find it a great place to work, network, innovate, and share ideas.

It is always exciting to be asked to attend the launch of something and so, when an email dropped into my inbox inviting me to the launch of the all new Geovation Hub, I quickly accepted.

For those who don’t know, the Hub is designed to be a collaborative space where geographers, developers, challenge winners and others can come together to ensure that winning ideas can access all the support that they need to make a success of their projects.

So, it was with real excitement that I found myself, at 5pm on a Thursday evening, being escorted into the Geovation Hub. I won’t go into the details of the evening that will be done in much more detail by others, but I do want to explain why I feel that the Hub is important.

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Sign up for a Mapathon

By , 17 July, 2015 10:29 am

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


BCSLogoOn Tuesday 8 September we’ll be hosting the 2nd Mapathon, alongside the British Cartographic Society (BCS) and the Society of Cartographers (SoC).

The developer world has been using hackathons for a number of years to quickly create software for a common, often charitable purpose. The Mapathon adopts the same principles but, rather than software, our output will be high-quality cartographic products that reveal previously unseen patterns in the data, or maps the charity can use for marketing.

Working with data supplied by the Mammal Society, teams or individuals from the cartographic community are invited to gather together to share their ideas, skills and experience for the benefit of others. Each team has the chance to present their work to a panel of judges, who will review the projects and award prizes.

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