Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub

Building Healthy communitiesWe recently hosted Business in the Community’s (BITC) Southampton Hub network. The Southampton Hub, launched at Ordnance Survey in October 2012, encourages local businesses to support local communities through partnerships and collaboration.

The event included a tour around Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters and a review of the work and initiatives undertaken by the Hub since its launch just one year ago. The session was introduced by Mike Brophy, Development Director, London, South and South East and Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, for BITC, respectively, and chaired by Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair. Continue reading “Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub”

GeoVation tackles a coastal challenge

Ordnance Survey is launching it’s second GeoVation challenge of the year today – this time it’s focusing on the Welsh Coastal Path.

With a prize fund of £125,000 , the challenge is calling for creative thinkers, developers and entrepreneurs to submit their ideas on how to better connect communities, businesses and visitors through the application of geography, mapping, innovation and expertise.

The latest challenge is called “How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coastal Path?”

Some areas the challenge hopes to tackle include:

  • How can we stimulate local business growth on the back of genuine problems that need solving?
  • How can more be done for local communities to support and use the path?
  • How can we engage and empower children to use, take more interest in and become proud of the path?
  • How can we provide accessible information to help people plan their walks based on their needs, abilities and expectation?
  • How can we provide a joined-up public transport system across the Wales coast Path?

Continue reading “GeoVation tackles a coastal challenge”

Could you use geography to transform Britain’s neighbourhoods?

Do you know your neighbours’ names? Take part in any community activities? Or even visit your local high street and shops? Did you check on any neighbours or help them out during the recent snow? A study carried out for us showed that a third of us don’t know our neighbours’ names and 90% of us don’t take part in voluntary activities to benefit our local community.

The study examined our thoughts on our neighbourhoods and looked at how we can work together to tackle issues affecting our community. It found that only 40% of us would check on our neighbours during severe weather, whilst the same number would get out and about to help clear roads and footpaths of snow.

But it’s not all bad news. While millions of us may feel a lack of connection with our communities, the study reveals it’s not through choice for many of us, with millions unsure of how to join in and help in their community. Nearly a third would be encouraged to help tackle community issues if it was incentivised by the local council, nearly 30% would do so if there was a source of local information which explained community issues and a quarter wished there was a community forum to enable them to discuss issues and pitch their own solutions.

We’re hoping that the latest GeoVation Challenge will help communities everywhere to address their unmet needs through the application of geographic data, skills and expertise. This year’s challenge, ‘How Can We Transform Neighbourhoods In Great Britain Together’ is calling all innovative thinkers, developers and entrepreneurs everywhere to submit their venture plans and pitch online for the chance to win a share of the £115,000 prize fund to implement their idea of how we might improve our community spirit.

Continue reading “Could you use geography to transform Britain’s neighbourhoods?”

Launching a GeoVation challenge on Mission:Explore

GeoVation winner’s Mission:Explore announced their support for a new GeoVation Challenge and a brand new Ordnance Survey ‘Viewpoint’ reward, both aimed at supporting children, families and schools in using geography in innovative ways.

They were announced during a presentation at the BETT Show on Saturday 14 January by Alan Parkinson from Mission:Explore. The GeoVation challenge will ask children to identify a food related problem in their community, think of a solution and come up with a plan for executing it. The best plans that also make use of Ordnance Survey mapping can win a slice of funding to help turn them into a reality. Children in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 can enter by doing a series of three GeoVation missions on Mission:Explore to win a GeoVation badge and then completing an entry form.

Continue reading “Launching a GeoVation challenge on Mission:Explore”

Time for some geo-fun

We’ve enjoyed writing quizzes and finding images to test your mapping knowledge this year – so whether you’re sat at home and feeling too full to move after the festive feasting or at work and wishing you weren’t, have a go at some of the geo-fun from 2011.

Try our map symbol game – simply swap one map symbol with an adjacent one to create a line of three or more identical symbols horizontally or vertically.

Do you know your map symbols? – How well do you think you know the symbols that appear on our OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps?

Test your wits with our geo-quiz – some geography-related questions to test your knowledge.

A location challenge when addressing fraud – do you recognise these well-known places on a map?

Play spot the difference with our Cartography team – have you got what it takes to be a cartographer?

Latest GeoVation-funded project, Foodnation, goes live

Would you like to enjoy fresh, seasonal vegetable varieties, tender succulent meat and delicious dairy products every week? Do you worry about buying produce has been flown thousands of miles and isn’t seasonal? Then you could be interested in Foodnation. Their website is open for business and you can be amongst the first to access it. The website matches foodies with their local farm – so if you would like local, seasonal foods you can find your nearest supplier and even get a produce box delivered.

Developed with funding from Ordnance Survey through the GeoVation programme, Foodnation combines a mobile app and e-commerce website, aiming to create fruitful and lasting relationships between farm and food-lover.

Continue reading “Latest GeoVation-funded project, Foodnation, goes live”

Innovators to the ready

Innovators, developers and IT experts in Kent are being asked to put on their thinking caps in a competition aimed at finding new solutions for delivering public services.

The new competition from Kent Council, which is being sponsored by Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation project, will be running a ‘Developing Solutions Camp’ at Gravesham Borough Council’s headquarters in Gravesend on 25 November 2011.

Continue reading “Innovators to the ready”

A location challenge when addressing fraud

Where am I?

Try our location challenge - using the larger image below

Last week we exhibited at the annual Welfare to Work conference at the Business Design Centre in London. The event, in its fourth year, gave our government team a chance to showcase the new AddressBase range of products, which were launched at the beginning of October and made available to all public sector bodies via the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA).

The focus of the event was to educate delegates on the important role that accurate addressing information can play in tackling fraud. Every year in the UK, fraud costs public services an estimated £21 billion.

Our team were highlighting how delegates can combine their own department’s intelligence and third-party information with Ordnance Survey location data to become more effective in preventing, detecting, highlighting and acting on fraudulent claims.

Visitors to our stand were also set a location challenge to identify the addresses or buildings of eight well known landmarks featured. Can you identify the locations of the mapping clips? We’ll give you some clues if you struggle!

Continue reading “A location challenge when addressing fraud”

This week’s guest blog comes from one of our online mapping partners, Walk4Life!

Have you ever wondered how far a mile is on the ground and how long it would take you to walk it?  In my mind I go back to the sports field at school to imagine the 100 metre and 400 metre tracks for shorter distances, then after that at some point I mentally move over from metric to imperial, and think about miles!  I know that one big stride is about a metre.  But how far is a mile on the ground? 

One of the key aims of the Walk4Life website is to help people who don’t normally walk very far to be confident in their ability to walk a mile. The site, which of course uses Ordnance Survey mapping, shows thousands of walks of all length, but also has 2,012 special 1 mile long Walk4Life Miles. These are waymarked on the ground, with distinctive yellow waymarkers, and act as kind of ‘measured mile’ allowing people to learn how far, or indeed how short, a mile is. 

The website doesn’t just have 1 mile long routes. There are walking routes of all lengths, 14,500 of them at the moment, and about 1,000 more are added each month. They are created by members of the public, and by organisations who promote walking or physical activity. We even have one member who is walking around the UK and using the site to plot his walk ! 

There’s more to it than just finding or creating a walk though, the site also allows users to build up a record of their walking activity, and to sign up to groups and challenges. Group members can add their walked miles to the group total and compete to walk the length of the Pennine Way (did you know, if you catch the bus each day you probably walk that far in a year anyway?), or Land’s End to John O’Groats, or whatever challenge takes their fancy. 

This month is Walktober – the walk4life team are celebrating walking in the wonderful autumn weather and are giving away fabulous prizes. There is still just over a week to win a North Face jacket by mapping and completing walking four routes, or win a set of fab HandiHikes maps by creating a virtual group!  HandiHike maps are really brilliant, and of course use Ordnance Survey maps too ! 

So, how long does it take you to walk a mile? And how many miles do you walk in average month ?… log on to and find out !

GeoVation seeks ideas to get you moving

A few months ago I wrote about the launch of this year’s GeoVation Challenge. After the success of last year’s inaugural awards, the geography focused innovation programme is back and looking to support another group of exciting, innovative and worthwhile ideas.

This year, GeoVation has been split into three separately themed challenges, the first of which was ‘How Can Britain Feed Itself?’ I say ‘was’ because it’s actually now closed to new entries, although you can still visit the site to read and rate the 52 ideas that have been contributed.

But fear not, the chance to be involved has not passed you by; for the next Challenge is due to open on Tuesday and is entirely focused on how geographic data can help us get from A to B.

Bumper to bumper. Photo by Lynac via Flikr

Bumper to bumper. Photo by Lynac via Flikr

There are huge and exciting opportunities for geography to be harnessed to solve transport related problems, especially with the influx of open data releases that we’ve seen over the past months. Those include; Ordnance Survey’s own OS OpenData portal; a number of local authorities; and most recently transport data from Transport for London.

Continue reading “GeoVation seeks ideas to get you moving”