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Innovation newsletter, January 2014

Everything happens somewhere – can you unlock the potential of location?

Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge 2014

Do you have a great idea for a geo-app? Or a business idea involving geo-location? If you know of a current business to business (B2B) problem or opportunity that could be solved, at least in part, by using the most detailed, accurate and current location data that’s available for Great Britain, then enter our Developer Challenge.

We’re looking for innovative ideas for a B2B, product, service or application that uses Ordnance Survey geographic data at its core. The idea must hold the potential to be profitable or bring cost-saving benefits for businesses.

So, if the idea of launching your business without incurring many of the associated overheads sounds appealing, enter the Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge 2014, a unique initiative we’ve launched in partnership with TechHub - one of the leading technology co-working communities in Great Britain.

What’s up for grabs?

Open-plan working at TechHub

We’re working with TechHub to provide the winner(s) with free flexible working space at a TechHub office of their choice (London, Manchester or Swansea) for up to a year.

Not only that, you’ll have free access to our extensive range of geographic datasets and services to develop your start-up. We’re also offering regular access to ongoing technical guidance, support and advice - helping you exploit the geographic datasets, to unlock their full potential. Some of the products you may choose to use include:

  • OS MasterMap® Topography Layer – a highly detailed view of Great Britain's landscape including individual buildings, roads and areas of land. In total, the dataset contains in excess of 400 million individual features, all of which have unique identifiers to which third-party data can be attributed.
  • OS MasterMap ITN Layer – a dataset that uses a link and node structure (connected into a single network) to depict the entire road infrastructure in Great Britain, the total length of which is around 550,000 Km. Details of more than 1,000 000 route restrictions (banned turns, one-way restrictions etc.) are also included, enabling detailed routing algorithms to be developed.
  • AddressBase® – a dataset that provides a Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) to every address in Great Britain - allowing you to cross reference data easily. Each address being assigned with geospatial coordinates - enabling you to understand the location of an address in a geographic context as well as being able to determine the use of an address (residential or commercial).
  • You’ll also have access to many other products including: Height and imagery datasets; Backdrop maps and Names and Gazetteer products to name just a few.
  • Thinking of building a web/mobile application? You’ll be able to make use of our range of web services, including OS OpenSpace® application programming interface (API) and associated software development kit (SDK) – enabling our mapping data to be embedded and displayed in your web or mobile application.

Check out our full range of products and services on our website for more information.

The programme will also see TechHub deliver a fully-tailored start-up mentorship package to the winners, including structured sessions around key topics such as:

  • Orientation – how to manage expectations, goal setting and objectives and so on.
  • Legal – how to form a company, IP, tax credits, patents, share structures and so on.
  • Product – lean start-up principles, growth hacking, qualifying customer demand.
  • Team - team and co-founders, best working practices, remote working.
  • Marketing - sales and marketing planning, start-up PR, sales funnels.
  • Funding - how to access additional venture capital.
  • Pitching - how to approach investment. The process, the relationships, the presentations.

By proactively fostering relationships, TechHub will introduce the winner(s) to the right people that should be able to make a difference to their start-up. They’ll also help promote their business, potentially featuring in tech and mainstream press.

Key dates and how to enter

28 February – competition closes midday at 2014. Submit your ideas now!

7 March – shortlist invited to presentation day

28 March – presentation day in London

4 April – winners announced

Simply fill in this form to submit your entry!

Questions? Email us at: developerchallenge@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

See full terms and conditions

Case study – “Growing Routes” – a company using OS OpenData to promote economic growth along the Wales Coast Path.

Funded through the GeoVation “Wales Coast Path” challenge, a business called - “Growing Routes” is addressing a business opportunity on a hyper-local scale - along one of Britain’s longest footpaths. Read more and watch the video to learn how they have used OS OpenData in their mapping interface to create a tool that aims to create businesses along the path.

For a more extensive view of products, services and applications that Ordnance Survey Partners offer, visit our Partner Finder page.


How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?

Our most recent GeoVation Challenge

Thank you for the great ideas you entered on our GeoVation Challenge: How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? We asked for your innovative ideas to encourage people to lead active lifestyles in the open; whatever their age. There were 74 fantastic ideas posted between 7 November 2013 and 15 January 2014 and a whopping 655 people registered on the GeoVation community during that time. Find out where the ideas were from on our Ordnance Survey map.

The next stage is for the judging panel to start reading all of your ideas and select which offer the best solution to the active lifestyles challenge theme. The judges will be looking for ideas that are innovative, use technology, are well designed and of course, use Ordnance Survey geographical information, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with any other open data in the solution. The judges will be meeting on 21 January 2014, and shortly after that we will announce the finalists to be invited to GeoVation Camp in Southampton over the weekend 28 February to 2 March 2014.

Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop the best ideas.

Andy Middleton, founder and owner of TYF, and Chair of the judging panel commented on the GeoVation Challenge: ‘we’ve known for a long time of the connection between active lifestyles and a wide range of benefits from the obvious ones of life expectancy and health through to productivity, creativity and discovery. Knowing how successful the GeoVation process can be in catalysing the development of practical products and services to meet real needs, I’m very much looking forward to seeing the projects emerge and flourish in this important challenge.’

Find out more about the judging panel that will select the best ideas.


Your opinions matter

Have you used OS OpenData? Would you like to help shape its future?

Take our short survey and let us know about your experience.

The survey can be completed online and should take no more than 10 minutes of your time.

Please try and complete the survey by Friday 14 February 2014 and feel free to circulate this to anyone else you know who uses OS OpenData.

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