Do you have an idea to transform neighbourhoods in Britain using GI?

We launched our latest GeoVation challenge last month with the aim of helping communities everywhere to address their unmet needs through the application of geographic data, skills and expertise. We’ve had lots of people register on the GeoVation Challenge site and so far we’re getting some interesting ideas on ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’

We identified 104 problems such as:

  • How do we provide safe environments for our children to be active?
  • How do we connect people looking for work with those that need their skills?
  • How do we ensure public services and resources are accessible for all ages?
  • How do we make our high streets an attractive place to run a business?

People have been getting busy adding ideas to solve these problems and more. One idea is for a Community Hyperlocal Site Platform –  a ‘one stop shop’ platform to find out what is going on in your neighbourhood .As well as providing community information, it will deliver information provided by councils, Central Government and other bodies through the use of Ordnance Survey’s Code-Point Open and 1:50 000 Scale Gazetteer to facilitate searching and present results as a map or list. Many local communities find the cost and lack of resource a barrier to hosting their own websites, this idea will allow them easily set up a site and use it to inform local people and bring them together.

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Public Sector Mapping Agreement – 2000 members

We were delighted to celebrate an important milestone in the life of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) with the announcement that the 2000th member has joined.

Tatenhall Parish Council in East Staffordshire is the latest public sector organisation to sign up for the ground breaking agreement which launched in April last year (2011).

The agreement allows the majority of public sector bodies in England and Wales to use centrally funded geographic datasets which can help with making vital efficiencies and improvements to service deliveries such as planning, transportation management, social housing and education services.

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Geographic information being used in the NHS

If you have been paying attention to the NHS reforms that have been going on, you will be well aware that the NHS is changing. At a local level, care is shifting from hospitals to local community-based settings and there is a much greater emphasis on health improvement and prevention. Ordnance Survey’s geographic data has a role to play and is helping inform decision making and improve efficiencies.

Moving forward, there are plans for more joint planning between health and social care organisations as the responsibility for public health moves to local authorities. To support this, decision makers need to rely on well-informed and up-to-date information to support health service planning.

The Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) has a crucial role to play providing Ordnance Survey geographic data to virtually any public sector body in England and Wales – regardless of size. The 10 year agreement between the government and Ordnance Survey came into effect in April 2011 and provides centrally funded geographic datasets to members to help them plan and deliver their services.

The benefits of the PSMA are significant for health and social care agencies. Not only does the agreement improve collaboration on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment – the means by which NHS trusts and local authorities work together to plan health and social care services for their local communities – but the innovative use of maps can also help achieve public health targets, streamline patient transport services, and support effective estate and asset management. Access to up-to-date and accurate mapping is also essential in responding to emergency calls effectively and maintaining a high level of service.

In Bristol, the Avon Information Management and Technology (IM&T) Consortium Health GIS team helped to improve the planning and delivery of drug and alcohol treatment services, as well as increase joint working between the city council and local Primary Care Trust (PCT). Using GIS, health commissioners were able to pinpoint the locations of treatment centres and determine where people using drug and alcohol services lived. Thanks to the PSMA, the trust was able to use data provided by both health and social care organisations to calculate the accessibility of local treatment centres and analyse the current provision of service. This will allow them to use their resources more effectively in order to meet demand.

OS OnDemand – A new approach to geographic data

We’ve produced a video about OS OnDemand, our web map service that delivers mapping over the web directly into an organisation.

The video is quite different to a lot of the things we’ve produced in the past, so please have a watch and let us know what you think.

And now if you want to know more about OS OnDemand, how it works and its features and benefits, you can visit our website.

If you’ve got any questions leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer them.