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.
The Geovation Hub has been open now for one year. In that time it has:
- 550 members’ regular attending the hub and using its space and resources.
- 40 SMEs basing themselves at the Hub.
- 4 start-ups on the Geovation Programme.
- 30 lead partners.
- Delivered £300,000 of revenue through partnerships and sponsorships that was unbudgeted.
- GeoSpock – one of the first members of Geovation, using the hub to build their business and validate what they are doing. We took an active role in helping them secure £3.5m in investment.
- FATMAP who came to us in the summer of 2015 with 3 people needing somewhere to establish themselves and take their 3D ski maps to market. They went live with their product in December and went out to a web summit in Ireland. We worked closely with them on their pitch and presentation, and they ended up raising £1m of bridge finance.
- FATMAP grew from 3 to 8 employees when they were with us.
- 3 Crowd Cube successes – Stay Safe raised £400,000. OpenPlay raised £150,000. Store Mates is closing in on raising £150,000.
- Around 20 companies this year that have grown by at least a couple of people since they have been at the Hub.
I caught up with Geovation Hub manager, Alex Wrottesley about Geovation, the Hub and the past year.
What is Geovation and what is the Geovation Hub?
Geovation is Ordnance Survey’s (OS) commitment to open innovation and the Geovation Hub, Clerkenwell, is how OS creates new models to work with other companies and organisations outside the business.
In our first year there are already a wide range of businesses using the hub. This includes large corporations, to SMEs to individuals starting out. Basically it is anyone with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship within geospatial data.
It’s not every day that we hear from one of our Licensed Partners that they’re about to appear on Dragon’s Den, pitching their map product to the panel. But David Overton of SplashMaps did just that, and we caught up with him last week, ahead of the broadcast. David couldn’t tell us the outcome at the time, but if you watched last night you’ll know that he put in a strong pitch, but sadly didn’t receive any funding. Find out more about SplashMaps and our Partner programme from David…
If you haven’t come across us before, SplashMaps makes wearable, washable, all-weather printed maps that can be customised for any part of Britain, and beyond. We set up in December 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the idea and used OS OpenData to print the first wearable maps of Britain’s National Parks.
Our Geovation Programme is aimed at developers, entrepreneurs and innovators to take their ideas and build them into real businesses. The Geovation team work closely with the teams and invest funding, resources and developer time to help them build their businesses ready for market. The Hub itself provides a range of resources geared towards helping them develop their businesses. This includes desk space, coaching and mentorship, access to OS and partner data, developer support, access to software, legal and professional support and other services that can be hard to secure when you’re first starting out.
The Geovation Programme is divided into four phases: Phases one to three are over a period of six months, where Programme members receive a total of £10,000 in funding. If a prototype is successfully delivered at the end of this phase four kicks in, which is a further six months on the Programme with an additional £10,000 in funding. For those who are successful in getting to phase four, the Geovation team help to secure further funding and the provide go-to-market support to launch the product and make it a commercial success.
Next weekend marks 50 years since England won the football World Cup. Held at Wembley Stadium on 30 July 1966, the team’s famous 4-2 victory over Germany saw them holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy.
Following England’s early and disappointing exit from this summer’s Euros, football fanatic Paul Naylor, a member of the OS cartography team that this year has already mapped Mars and created data visualisations of Britain’s most trodden paths, was faced with a sudden gap in his evenings. Paul and England’s loss is our gain, because he used this time to put together an interactive map celebrating England’s 1966 World Cup winning achievement. Click the links to watch highlights of the games, find out more about the grounds used in the tournament and, most importantly of all, learn about those English players who one glorious summer fifty years ago captured football’s greatest prize.
Alternatively, visit our Flickr page to see the image in more detail, or download a copy.
Guest blog by Simon Navin, Ordnance Survey Project Lead, Smart Practice.
July saw the official launch of CityVerve, the UK’s demonstrator project in Manchester for large scale deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. OS are part of a consortium of over 20 public and private sector organisations, ranging from SMEs to large global corporates, who over the next two years will design and deliver a series of citizen-focused solutions around the themes of Transport, Energy, Health and Culture, using IoT sensor and collaborative platform technology. After six months of governance negotiations, the project is now live and everyone is raring to go.
Our role is to provide the geospatial framework and location expertise upon which solutions may be based. The project will be a challenge to our existing content and working methods, as well as providing us with essential insight into what the content of the future may look like and how it may need to be delivered and shared. We’ll learn a lot from working with experts in data presentation, platform development, hardware deployment and key sector expertise.
It’s not just OS celebrating an 80th anniversary this year (for the trig pillar), A-Z are 80 years old too. Laura Quittenden tells us more…
This year Geographers’ A-Z Map Company is celebrating its 80th anniversary. A-Z maps have been based on OS data since the company first produced their London Street Atlas in 1936.
Thank you to all of the schools who entered our exciting competition with EDINA featuring Digimap for Schools and our #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall. Combining geography, wildlife and photography, it saw primary school children across Britain taking wildlife photos and plotting them on a map of their school’s area.