Posts tagged: ideas

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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Trend Café at the Geovation Hub – with

By , 18 June, 2015 1:04 pm
Trend Café, May 2015

Trend Café, May 2015

The next Trend Café takes place at the Geovation Hub, OS’s new innovation hub, on Thursday 25 June 2015. The Trend Cafés explore the latest trends in costumer and societal behaviour, technology, and business, and the ways in which these trends affect the use of data. returns to lead the workshop.

This is the second of Geovation Hub’s Trend Cafés and will be focusing on trends in circular economy. The circular economy is a term that refers to an economy that is restorative, with an emphasis on minimum resources, maximum value and usability, and designing for repairability and longevity. It is an alternative to the ‘make-consume-dispose’ model of the linear economy.

The event starts at 8am, at 1 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE. Places are limited and filling up fast, so book your (free) place now!

The session will also be broadcast on Twitter via Periscope, so if you can’t be there in person, feel free to tune in! You can also watch the last Trend Café event online.

Green innovation ventures for sustainability

By , 3 June, 2015 9:55 am

This Friday is World Environment Day.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day was established in 1973 and takes place annually on 5 June. The event is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme, each year around a different theme. The theme this year is sustainable consumption and production.

As a part of its community focus, GeoVation takes an interest in events and projects that support the environment. Our 2013 Environment Challenge, ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance?’, was very successful and led to funding for four ideas, all of which encourage sustainable living practices.
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Cycling innovators and the chance to win a fat bike

By , 28 May, 2015 9:06 am

Bike Week — the biggest nationwide cycling event in the UK — is coming up on 13-21 June.

Bike Week

The first Bike Week took place in the UK in 1923 — some 40 years after the potentially lethal penny-farthing had been replaced by the safety bicycle — and was started by the Cyclists’ Touring Club. It has since been replicated in Ireland, Canada and the US. In the UK, it takes place annually on the third week of June. It encourages ‘everyday cycling for everyone’ and aims to promote the benefits of cycling to the environment, society, and individuals’ health. The 2015 event has a particular focus on cycling to work.

In 2014, almost half a million cyclists took part in over 1000 events nationwide. This year’s event is in June, but there are hundreds of events taking place throughout the rest of the year. You can find out what events are happening in your area at, along with your nearest bike shops!

In the Geovation team we take a keen interest in events and innovations that promote active lifestyles. Following our 2013 Active Lifestyles Challenge, four GeoVation winners are developing ventures to enable people to be more active, whether through walking, running, or other sports and activities.

In our 2010 Transport Challenge we encouraged ideas which considered more sustainable forms of transport (including cycling). Two of the winning ideas from the latter challenge, Cyclescape and the London Cycle Map Campaign, focused on improving cycling.

Greater London Cycle Map

Greater London Cycle Map

Continue reading 'Cycling innovators and the chance to win a fat bike'»

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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We can make London a National Park City

By , 30 March, 2015 8:00 am

On Tuesday 24 February 600 people came together at Southbank to Reimagine London and ask “What if we made London a National Park?”. In this extended article the award-winning writer Lucy Anna Scott shares her day at this important event.

Photo of London and Thames by Simon de Glanville

Photo by Simon de Glanville

“I hope you’re all in an imaginative mood,” enthused Daniel Raven-Ellison, founder of the Greater London National Park campaign, as he opened the Reimagine London event at Southbank Centre this week.

But picturing Greater London as the world’s first National Park City doesn’t require a huge leap of imagination these days.

What started out as the brainchild of geographer and explorer Raven-Ellison just less than a year ago is now rapidly maturing into a campaign that has a life all of its own. And the 600 participants – who attended a packed programme of talks, debates and activities to explore the concept of London as a National Park – were proof of the momentum behind a campaign that’s swept the likes of Zac Goldsmith, Chris Packham and Robert Macfarlane along with it.

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IC Tomorrow Digital Innovation Winner

By , 29 October, 2014 8:10 am

In May 2014 IC tomorrow ran the £125k ‘Digital Innovation Contest – Data’ to encourage digital innovation in data. Winners received up to £25k each (excluding VAT) in funding and had the opportunity to trial their solution with the relevant contest challenge partner, including Ordnance Survey, Ingram Content Group, EE Limited, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and the British Library. The challenge set by Ordnance Survey was to investigate the feasibility of implementing a next-generation 3D building data layer for location-based services within a mobile platform.

Nick Humes winner of the IC Tomorrow Digital Innovation Contest is our guest blogger today. Nick gives us an account of how he ended up winning the contest from his inital idea to where he is now having won.

Everything that has happened since submitting the application for the IC Tomorrow – Digital Innovation contest in May has happened so fast that it now seems like a distant memory.

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