Developer Challenge winners announced

We teamed up with TechHub late last year to launch our Developer Challenge and were thrilled to receive 35 entries by the closing date in February. We whittled that down to seven finalists and had a fantastic morning at TechHub’s Old Street office this week watching the seven pitch their innovative geolocation ideas for a chance to win a year’s support package for their start-ups.

The finalists had just five minutes to present their innovative, profitable or cost saving ideas, all using Ordnance Survey data at the core. Following their Dragon’s Den-style pitch, the finalists then had five minutes to be questioned by our talented panel of judges.

Developer Challange winners

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Visualising the City with OS OpenData – four examples with buildings from OS VectorMap District

Today’s guest blog is from Oliver O’Brien, a researcher in spatial analysis and geovisualisation at UCL CASA, working on the BODMAS (Big Open Data Mining & Synthesis) project which is led by Dr James Cheshire and funded by
ESRC. Oliver blogs regularly at about spatial analysis and visualisations of London and other research projects.

Ordnance Survey’s  open data has been incredibly useful for a number of city data visualisations. As an academic researcher, I have access to the gold-standard OS MasterMap data for teaching and research purposes here at the CASA lab at University College London. But the ease of access to OS OpenData, and the flexible and lightweight licence, means I can quickly and effectively visualise data for any purpose and audience, be it for blog posts, online maps or even artworks. Here’s four ways I’ve used one of the most interesting datasets in OS Open Data – the buildings layer in OS VectorMap District.


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Visualising customer data to provide valuable insights

In an increasingly competitive environment, customer experience is a fundamental business driver. One of the best ways to bring perspective of the customer to business decisions is by using data analysis to find correlations, isolate patterns and track trends to serve up the type of information to allow a company to tailor the customer experience for improved engagement and better profits.


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Measuring what matters

In our latest GeoVation Challenge, we are calling for ideas that encourage active lifestyles, particularly in open spaces, such as parks.

Nesta is an innovation charity that runs projects which help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Nesta, in partnership with The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund, are currently running a Rethinking Parks Programme looking for bold and innovative ways to use, manage and make the most of the UK’s public parks.

In our guest blog today Lydia Ragoonanan, Rethinking Parks programme manager explains why we need better intelligence to keep our parks going.

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OS OpenData masterclasses – a user’s view

SarahJeffriesOur 2013 series of masterclasses kicked off in Southampton on 7 November. We have since moved around the country with the road show and have had some great feedback along the way which will help us to make sure we continue to deliver relevant content at the right pace.

One of our attendees to the Southampton masterclass, Sarah Jeffries, the Parish Clerk Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield, had the following to say about the event:

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Using OS OpenData to map #OpFortress tweets

Today’s guest post is by Robert Murray, one of our developer team at Ordnance Survey. Last year he used OS OpenData to map some of the tweets Hampshire Constabulary sent during Operation Fortress.

Hampshire Constabulary has been running an operation to combat drug-related crime in Southampton called Operation Fortress and posted tweets relating to this operation with the hashtag #OpFortress. It was an effective method of showing progress and engaging with the public, the tweets sometimes gave advice, asked for help or reported operation updates such as arrests, raids or crimes – often with the location at which the event took place.


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OS OpenData – protecting the past to build the future

In any development project there is a legal obligation to assess and protect any significant archaeological or built heritage remains. Developers must show that such issues have been taken into account, appropriately examined and effectively mitigated, if they are to gain planning permission for proposed works.

Factoring archaeological and heritage advice and works into a project from the start can help to ensure project success. It reduces the risk of ‘hitting the unexpected’ and the ultimate cost of the project.


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GeoVation winner launches Growing Routes

GeoVation winner, Richard Fairhurst, has launched a website aimed at promoting opportunities for business along the Wales Coast Path. 

The new website ‘Growing Routes’, was one of five ideas which was selected to receive funding from Ordnance Survey in the 2012 ‘Wales Coast Path’ GeoVation Challenge.

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OS OpenData interactive postcode viewer

We recently wrote about the work of our on our summer interns in our Labs team, Joseph Braybrook, creating a Minecraft map of Great Britain. During his time with us Joseph also created an interactive postcode viewer for exploring all 1.7 million postcodes in Great Britain.

The idea came from a demo program included with Processing – a programming language and development environment with a focus on creating audio/visual applications. The demo visualises 41,557 US zipcodes as individual points as shown in the screenshot below.

We decided it would be interesting to try the same approach using British postcodes, which are readily available as open data in our Code-Point Open product. This is a much larger dataset with almost 1.7 million individual records.

To further showcase what can be achieved with OS OpenData we also incorporated some of our mapping in the form of OS VectorMap District.

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Return of Ordnance Survey’s free OS OpenData masterclasses

People across Great Britain are being given the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open data and the tools and techniques to use open datasets, through a series of free masterclasses, hosted by Ordnance Survey and supported by Horizon Digital Economy Research.

OSOpenData masterclass icon

materclass being delivered

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