On Sunday 2 October, Southampton FC legend Francis Benali starts his challenge to run and cycle to every English League Premier and Championship club. Franny is building on his 2014 challenge, where he visited the 20 Premier League football grounds, by running 50 miles a day for three weeks and raising over £265,000 for Cancer Research UK.
This year he plans to go one better and to break the £1 million barrier for Cancer Research UK with his challenge:
- 44 stadiums in 14 days.
- 100 miles per day.
- 26 miles running and the rest cycling.
How are OS involved in Benali’s Big Race?
We are excited to announce that our 10th Geovation Challenge will focus on our underground assets. The Challenge ‘How can we better manage underground assets in Britain?’ recognises successful innovation depends on developing innovative solutions to real problems. The challenge opens for entries on 19 October, 2016 with the focus on using geographical data and design thinking to address the problems associated with underground asset location, management, impacts on stakeholders and predicting asset future.
To help you understand the Challenge focus, how to enter, timescales and the benefits should you win, we are holding a launch event at the Geovation Hub on 12 October from 4pm to 7pm.
By Rollo Home, Strategic Product Manager
For 225 years we’ve worked with governments, private industry, and individuals alike, since the data we produce touches and connects the lives of everyone in the country. We know the location of every road, water network, mast, residential and commercial address and the type of terrain, plus much more. And this data is invaluable for identifying areas of risk, to improve planning and services and more. Put simply location is the glue that holds disparate pieces of information together in a single logical view of the world.
Traditionally this information has been shared with people in the form of a (digital) map, but the world moves on and we’re preparing for a new ‘data driven’ future where machines rather than people will be the primary consumers of our data. Rather than a person querying the data for some form of insight, it could mean in simplistic terms, a computer running some route optimisation analysis, based on a trigger from a sensor (Internet of Things (IoT)) measuring traffic and/or customer demand, for which it would retrieve the necessary data from an OS server. This means restructuring our data around explicit references to objects. The map will remain, but simply as a derivative representation of the data. Data will be king. And that requires a new way to deliver data.
We blogged recently about a new app from former Geovation winners Run An Empire. Find out more about them in their guest blog by Sam Hill.
It was back in 2014 when I first walked into the shiny atrium of the Ordnance Survey head office. My team and I had caught several trains from East London to Southampton, we had dropped our things off at the nearby Holiday Inn, and we were eagerly gearing up for the weekend-long hackathon.
We had in the last week learned that we’d been shortlisted from 74 entries to be one of the dozen finalists for Geovation’s latest innovation challenge – “How Can We Encourage Active Lifestyles in Britain?”
Run An Empire were winners of the ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?’ Geovation Challenge. The Hoxton-based, PAN Studio were awarded £26,000 to develop their idea, an exercise strategy game on a smart phone app. Run An Empire uses GPS with OS data to record the paths players take and allows people to compete to capture and maintain control of as much territory as possible, using neighbourhoods as arenas for play. The more times people run or walk around their neighbourhood the more secure they can make it against ‘invasion’.
Keeping everyone entertained over the summer holiday period can be a challenge, particularly if the British weather hits a damp spell. We’ve got five great activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will appeal to budding geographers and explorers.
1. Download the Minecraft map of Great Britain
Minecraft, the Swedish computer game in which you make things out of virtual blocks, remains hugely popular with users of all ages. With over 100 million copies sold, and more than 40 million unique Minecraft players each month, it’s grown into the Education sector and beyond. If you or your family are Minecraft devotees, why not try our geographically-accurate Minecraft map of Britain?
First released in 2013, following work by OS intern Joseph Braybrook, the map had 22 billion blocks representing the 224,000 square kilometres of our country. It even won us a Guinness World Record as the largest real-world place represented in Minecraft! We released an update in 2014 taking Britain’s Minecraft map to a staggering 83 billion blocks, perfect for a spot of gaming with geography combined. Download the GB Minecraft world and let us know how you get on.
2. Download our mappy colouring in sheets
By Layla Gordon
Back in February OS took a trip off of this planet to produce a paper map of Mars.
This inspired the Tech Labs team, who had been already involved in Augmented Reality (AR) work, to produce a Mars AR experience using this map.
As all good work with augmentation, the first step was to create some 3D content for augmenting the map. Using a set of height data for the planet captured by NASA, and with the advice of Peter Grindrod from UK Space Agency, I produced a height map in Grey Scale. Then using Blender I created a 3D terrain model of the Schiaparelli crater and its surroundings.
OS Partner Away Team Software have been on our blog previously, talking about their location tracking app, Trkd. Now they’re back with an out of this world adaptation…
Just before Christmas 2015, the UK was gripped by space fever as British ESA astronaut Tim Peake embarked on his six month Principia mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with live coverage from launch to docking. After witnessing the cheering crowds of children at London’s Science Museum, veteran cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, said it rekindled his memories of the original human spaceflight programme from half a century ago.
By taking advantage of the intervening advances in technology, Tim has been able to engage his audience directly from space throughout his mission using digital photography, video and social media to inspire this generation and the next.
In the spirit of Principia, we decided to commemorate two of his iconic achievements in a fun and educational way by expanding our Trkd™ (pron. tracked) location tracking suite into space, which raised an important question: how do you track an astronaut?
At our recent GeoTech Meetup at the Geovation Hub the hot topic of conversation was augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and how mashing these with geospatial data unlocks the potential for some pretty exciting innovations in the near future.
OS Labs engineer, Layla Gordon, led the event at the Hub, and here she explains some of her adventures with AR…
Our first foray into the virtual spaces goes back to May 2015 where OS was the platinum sponsor of an event called Digital Shoreditch in London. The venue is a Victorian basement with lots of corridors and rooms and in previous years visitors had trouble navigating within the building and finding the exhibitions they wanted to see.