Posts tagged: geovation challenge

GeoVation winners OpenPlay launch new site

By , 26 August, 2014 8:15 am

OpenPlay is a web and mobile platform designed to connect sports facilities to the public. It takes away the hassle of finding and booking sports facilities and activities with a focus on parks, open spaces and schools. Examples include tennis courts, football pitches, multi-use games areas and sports halls.

OpenPlay Mobile screenIt was born out of frustration whilst trying to source football pitches for an U15 team in South London. I found the experience to be a complete nightmare with endless fruitless phone calls and a lack of transparency over pricing and condition of facilities on offer. I met my business partner who also shared the same frustrations and we launched the original OpenPlay platform in February 2013. We lived off cereal and a startup loan for over a year until we heard about the Geovation programme.

From running OpenPlay, we began to realise that we could also use the platform to help tackle the physical inactivity crisis which is sweeping the nation. Parks and schools are massive areas for physical activities, yet little is Continue reading 'GeoVation winners OpenPlay launch new site'»

OS Innovation Newsletter – Summer edition

By , 21 August, 2014 8:15 am

By now you should have received our summer edition of OS innovation newsletter, with of exciting news for the GeoVation and developer community – including news of our new GeoVation Challenge, a call for your Minecraft maps, an up date on our developer challenge winners and find out how you can step up to the challenge with Daniel Raven-Ellison.

Newsletter screen grab Continue reading 'OS Innovation Newsletter – Summer edition'»

GeoVation winner Medal Routes launches app

By , 6 August, 2014 8:10 am

Medal Routes LogoRamblers Scotland one of our most recent GeoVation Challenge winners has steamed ahead since receiving the £28,000 in funding from the ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain Challenge to develop Medal Routes App.

Rob Burns and Jeannie Cranfield submitted the idea to develop a mobile app to add to the existing Medal Routes website. Medal Routes already uses Ordnance Survey data to map three short (15, 30 and 60 minute) circular walks from identified walking hubs to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. Printed tear-off maps and A5 leaflets are available at each hub and also online.

Continue reading 'GeoVation winner Medal Routes launches app'»

GeoVation Opening Doors

By , 29 July, 2014 8:10 am

Today’s guest blog is from one of our finalists who took part in the recent Active Lifestyle challenge Jackie Roby.

One evening, in the depths of darkest January, I logged on to Facebook to find a message from a friend that read ‘Are you going to do it?’ with a link to the GeoVation Active Lifestyles Challenge. I’d never heard of GeoVation and with the challenge closing in less than a week I thought it was unlikely. At the same time I had an idea that had been floating around in my mind that fitted the challenge criteria well and before I knew it, it was the early hours of the morning and I’d entered the competition.

The week passed and a few days after the deadline I received and email congratulating me on becoming a GeoVation finalist. Oh. My. Goodness. This was happening!

Go WildMy idea to encourage more active lifestyles was ‘Outdoor Discovery Backpacks’, rucksacks stuffed with fun games, ideas and tools to help children and their families explore nature and the great outdoors. I wanted to create a fun and exciting resource that was available from local libraries that, using OS maps, would help families to discover and enjoy their local green spaces.

The GeoVation Camp weekend at the end of February, passed in a complete blur; meeting lots of innovative people with great ideas, learning all sorts of interesting things I’d never heard of such as paper prototyping, hearing from past winners and getting to pick the brains of inspiring people such as Andy Middleton. My teammate Dave and I bounced our way around Ordnance Survey head office, becoming known for our smiles and enthusiasm. I think a bit of delirium crept in too! Continue reading 'GeoVation Opening Doors'»

Wales Coast Path GeoVation Winners

By , 20 June, 2014 8:10 am

In March 2012, we launched our Wales Coast Path Challenge ‘How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coat Path?’ – GeoVation partnered with the Technology Strategy Board’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) programme, and the Welsh Government. The Challenge was supported by  Ramblers Cymru and by the Inventorium programme.

Out of the 8 finalists, 5 winners were chosen and the winners received a share of £125,000 in innovation funding:

Snout Wales (from Oli – formerly Perfect Visitor Companion) – £40,000Wales coast path challenge logo

Real Food Wales – £30,000, plus £1,000 community award

Ap ogam – £30,000

Living Paths – £17,500

Growing Routes – £7,500

We caught up with the winners and partners last year and made the video below which gives a great insight to what they got out of the GeoVation Camp and what has been happening since the Camp.

Gareth Browning, Research & Development projects Senior Adviser, Welsh Government and Gwenda Owen, Community Engagement Ramblers Cymru, explain the benefits the Challenge will (and has) brought to the Welsh Coast Path community so far.

Helen and Nicola Steer, Real Food Wales, not only praise the GeoVation process on how open it is but also explain how they have managed to launch their product and the initial response/feedback they have had. While Richard Fairhurst, Growing Routes, explains how having access to the complete OS OpenData sets gave his idea a much broader target audience to his original concept. Robin Owain, Llwybrau Bywu (living Paths), is thrilled with the new role he has. Thanks to the GeoVation Challenge panel choosing his idea, Robin is now an employee of Wikipedia as the Welsh manager – congratulations Robin!



If you would like to find out more about GeoVation or our winner then read our booklet or visit our website.

Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to keep up to date with GeoVation Challenges and events.




New GeoVation booklet published!

By , 17 June, 2014 8:00 am

We’re pleased to announce the latest version of the GeoVation Booklet has now been published!  The booklet includes information on GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas!

The booklet has some intereImage of the GeoVation booklet cover and hyperlink to downloadsting facts about GeoVation which was launched in October 2009. In that time:

2511 participants have registered

630 ideas have been submitted

77 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and

28 winners have been awarded a share of over £637,000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

There’s information on all our GeoVation  challenges from our first GeoVation Awards Programme in 2009  through our problem focussed challenges aimed at building local resilience. In 2010 we launched 2 challenges focussed on how we could feed ourselves in Britain and reduce the environmental impact of transport in a sustainable way. In 2012 we ran a challenge focussed on resolving neighbourhood problems and building a sense of community, and a further challenge themed around connecting communities and visitors along the new Wales Coast Path to tie in with its launch.  In 2013 the GeoVation Challenge focussed on improving environmental performance, set against the context that UK companies could save £6 billion a year if they used resources more efficiently. Our latest  challenge aimed at encouraging active lifestyles  was focussed on the £8bn cost to the UK economy as a result of our inactivity.

We’ve made the booklet available online, so you can find out how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey, about the 28 winners Ordnance Survey has funded  and the ideas they have launched or which are in development.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

Individual case studies are also available on our website

If you would like a copy of the GeoVation booklet sent to you, please email us at

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals. They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.



We’re really excited! For many months now we have been working on Click here to download booklet creating a GeoVation booklet to include information on  GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas – and now its published!

The booklet  has some interesting facts about GeoVation which has been running since October 2009.  In that time:

  • 1448 participants have registered
  • 509 ideas have been submitted
  • 57 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and
  • 20 winners have been awarded a share of over £435, 000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.

GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals.  They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.

We’ve made the booklet available online,  so you can find out more about how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey,  the ideas we have funded so far and the people who make GeoVation happen.  We’ve also made the case studies available individually on line – see our case study map.

Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!

- See more at:

GeoVation alumni event video released!

By , 4 June, 2014 8:15 am

On 15 May 2014 the GeoVation team held their first alumni event, hosted by the Hub Westminster.

We packed the day with a full itinerary for our winners and finalists. There were introductions from Chris Parker, GeoVation, and Quentin Johns, Impact Hub Westminster, and presentations or informal talks with Bryan Forbes from Technical Strategy Board (TSB), Iain Rolfe from Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) and Dan Spicer from Hootsuite. We also had some great input from our winners and finalists through out the day, with special thanks to Helen – Mission Explore/City Farmers, Ayo – Element Green Recycling to give us an insight into what problems they had following camp, and Sam Hill from Pan Studios – ‘Run an Empire’ with his experience with Kickstarter.

Below is a video with highlights of the day’s events and some snippets from the round table discussion held at the end of the day. If you missed our alumni event you can catch up in more detail on our blog posts, GeoVation Alumni Event and GeoVation Alumni – why it’s got serious heritage.



We hope those who attended the GeoVation alumni found it worthwhile and we will be very interested in any more feedback you may have in developing subsequent alumni events.


GeoVation Alumni – why it’s got serious heritage

By , 30 May, 2014 8:15 am

A round table on Open Innovation Challenges


GeoVation alumni Round table 1

Today’s Guest blog is from Quentin Johns. Quentin has been a Judge for Ordnance Survey’s Geovation Challenges and is the Head of Business Development  the Impact Hub Westminster. Quentin has a degree in Social Anthropology from Sussex University. Quentin chaired a round table panel discussion compiled by  Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation team and the Impact Hub Westminster, hosted after the GeoVation Alumni event.

Continue reading 'GeoVation Alumni – why it’s got serious heritage'»

The future is bright, the future is CARBON!

By , 6 May, 2014 8:15 am

Todays guest blog is by Richard Page, of Carbon Prophet, one of our winners from our Challenge in May 2013: ‘How do we help British business improve environmental performance’ – supported by the Environment Agency. Carbon Prophet were awarded £29,000 and also won the Community Award of £1,000.

AR Carbon received the final tranche of its GeoVation grant funding. As we are seven months into our project ‘Carbon Prophet’ and looking to launch ourselves into the open market, it seems the ideal time to see how things are progressing.

Our project is all about encouraging farmers to rebuild the natural fertility of their soils. One of the most obvious ways of achieving this is to encourage the use of compost as a source of nutrients and as a way of improving soil structure. Obviously we don’t want to use peat-based composts, so we need to find significant supplies of an alternative and that means using green waste compost. Unfortunately, this is not as straightforward as you might think; most green waste compost needs significant work to improve it before it is suitable for use on commercial farms. So, in order to ensure sufficient supplies of a quality product, we have opened negotiations with a number of local authorities to work with them to improve the product that they produce and we aim to have high quality green waste compost available for the start of spring 2015.

Continue reading 'The future is bright, the future is CARBON!'»

OS Innovation Newsletter – Spring edition

By , 22 April, 2014 8:15 am

By now you should have received our spring edition of OS innovation newsletter, with of exciting news for the GeoVation and developer community – including Funding for winners of the GeoVation Challenge, OS Developer Challenge and Ordnance Survey’s partnership with IC Tomorrow.

OS OpenSpace update on the internet bug ‘Heartbleed’

In response to the announcement of the internet bug ‘Heartbleed’ in the OpenSSL cryptographic software used by many businesses, we have changed our SSL certificates in OS OpenSpace to protect our customers’ personal data.  We recommend that you change your password in the OS OpenSpace ‘My Account’ page. If you have been using the same password on other accounts, you may also wish to update those. Update your OS OpenSpace password here.

 Spring Newsletter

Continue reading 'OS Innovation Newsletter – Spring edition'»