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Innovation news

Funding announced for GeoVation winners

Following on from the GeoVation Camp the Judging Panel met on Wednesday 26th March to confirm the winning ventures, How to get people active in Britain! and decide how to award the funding. The £101,000 awarded by Ordnance Survey will be split as follows:

Ramblers Scotland will receive £28,000 in funding to develop Medal Routes App. Rob Burns and Jeannie Cranfield submitted the idea to develop a mobile app to add to the existing Medal Routes website. Medal Routes identifies and maps short circular, bronze, silver and gold-level walk from walking hubs. These walking challenges encourage people throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. They can progress from short 15 minute walks to walking for up to an hour. The development of the app, using Ordnance Survey data, will enable more widespread engagement and breakdown some of the barriers to participation. Wherever people are they will have hundreds of walks at their fingertips and, through games and challenges, incentives to walk and map their own routes.

Hoxton based, PAN Studio will be awarded £26,000 to develop their idea Run An Empire. Run an Empire is an exercise strategy game on a smart phone app, which will use GPS with Ordnance Survey data to record paths players take and allow 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’. Sam Hill of Pan Studio presented the idea at GeoVation Camp and was joined by Justas Motuzas, Aaron Oliver-Taylor and Amy Ricketts.

Chris McCormack and Alex Davies-Moore of Wimborne based company Mapsum are to receive £26,000 to develop their idea Tagd. Tagd is a service that allows anyone or any group to create, share and discover custom interactive routes that contain personalised, targeted media messages at waypoints along the routes. The system will work with existing networks, such as cycling clubs, local interest groups and geogachers to get more people involved in physical activity and to discover the outdoors.

The London based, OpenPlay team will be awarded £21,000 that includes the Community Award of £1,000. Their idea tackles the problem of not knowing where to go to do an activity. OpenPlay launched an online marketplace for finding and booking sports facilities last year; it brings the park noticeboard online so you can find out what is going on in your local park and book pitches and organised activities. Informal groups can also look for people to join their activities. Local authorities, community groups, private organisations and mass audience can use OpenPlay. The funding awarded will allow them to develop new mapping functionality using Ordnance Survey data and develop a mobile app version to increase public usage of these spaces. Sam Parton presented the idea at GeoVation Camp and was joined by Ian Pridham and Nicola Flynn.

To learn more about the GeoVation Challenge winning ventures and to hear from the successful team members, watch the video.

Ordnance Survey announce winners of the Developer Challenge

We teamed up with TechHub late last year to launch our Developer Challenge and were thrilled to receive 38 entries by the closing date in February. We whittled that down to seven finalists and had a fantastic day at TechHub’s Old Street office last 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.

Following deliberation, the judges unanimously chose three winning teams from the pitches meaning that ‘Downstreams’, ‘Locappy’ and ‘Tindre’ have all won membership at one of the country's innovative TechHub centres and a full mentorship programme from us and TechHub for twelve months.

The Downstreams team consists of Ant Parsons, Paula Nickson and Simon Redding. They described an innovative service to connect communities along rivers. Downstreams will help people to identify, incubate and crowd-fund flood prevention and environmental improvements on river systems. The team plan to use a range of Ordnance Survey products, including OS MasterMap Networks – Water Layer to make flooding and water quality impacts on downstream communities explicit, explaining to these communities the value of collaborative investment in their river.

Locappy’s winning idea was presented by Sebastian Lyall. His idea is to connect small, local businesses with their local customer base via effective digital marketing. Locappy is available via multiple channels as well as the Locappy app. Ordnance Survey data can help the Locappy team to effectively define and cluster neighbourhoods across London, and eventually wider, so that customer and businesses can choose the areas relevant to them to advertise in or receive information on.

London and Brighton-based Jakub Tomanik’s winning idea was Tindre – helping iBeacon’s to catch fire. Aimed at mobile app developers and iBeacon integrators/owners, it is a service that enhances situational and location awareness of mobile apps which work with Bluetooth beacons (iBeacons) and a platform for iBeacons owners to manage them and connect with developers. Tindre will use OS MasterMap dataset as a foundation for the backend solution.

Our seven finalists pitched ideas from improving transport systems for hospital patients to reach their appointments on time; to providing location-based news streams customised by user and we were really impressed by them all. We were so impressed with the breadth of ideas and passion of the pitchers on the day, that we’ve offered developer support and expertise to all of the finalists.

The three winning teams have been awarded with desk space and annual flex membership with TechHub. The fully tailored mentorship programme uses both Ordnance Survey and TechHub, opening up a wealth of opportunities for the winners, including legal advice, sales and marketing support, product expertise and advice on future funding options. The winners will receive regular access to technical guidance, support and advice from Ordnance Survey on how to unlock the full potential of the full range of datasets.

Our judging panel included lead judge, Gary Gale, geo-technologist and geographer who was looking for technology that could transform and ideas with a good business model for the future; Claudia Arney - Independent Non-Executive Director, TelecityGroup and Chair of The Public Data Group who was keen that our winners didn’t just have a commercially viable idea, but that they would also benefit from TechHub and Ordnance Survey’s expertise; Elizabeth Varley TechHub CEO and co-founder, ensuring winners would benefit from TechHub’s guidance and mentoring over their next six months; and Peter ter Haar, Ordnance Survey’s Director of Products and Innovation, looking for budding ideas that have data and location at their core.

The Developer Challenge was set up to help us engage more with developers at Ordnance Survey, to support new businesses and help unlock the potential of accurate and highly-detailed geographic information. TechHub were the perfect partners to bring us together with the tech start-up ecosystem as they provide technology start-ups with a place to work, meet, collaborate, network, learn and have fun.

Ordnance Survey – Working with IC tomorrow – Digital Innovation Contest

Ordnance Survey are delighted to be working in partnership with IC tomorrow. Based in London's Tech City, they are a Technology Strategy Board programme that stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector by breaking down barriers and opening doors for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

The programme serves as a hub for digital innovation, connecting start-ups and SMEs with leading commercial partners and investors across the UK, through funded contests, events, strategic matchmaking and mentoring opportunities.

IC tomorrow runs a range of funded contests across the digital and creative sectors. These contests are run in collaboration with leading partners who help to set relevant contest challenges that will encourage innovation in new digital applications or services. Ordnance Survey is one of those partners. Contest applicants can benefit from the funding that is awarded to successful companies to develop their proposed solutions and grow their businesses; gain from exposure to a range of leading content providers and rights holders; test their proposed application or service with those partner companies and organisations; promote their prototype solution via the IC tomorrow programme and retain their full intellectual property.

IC tomorrow, is offering five businesses up to £25k* each to encourage digital innovation in data. The Digital Innovation Contest - Data offers £125k across 5 awards to companies innovating in across the data sector. As well as the Ordnance Survey the partners include – Ingram Content Group, EE Limited, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust and The British Library.

IC tomorrow will be awarding up to five businesses individual awards of up to £25k* for the development of a service or application under five challenge areas. One award is available in each of the following categories:

Geospatial data mapping
Partner: Ordnance Survey

Processing data efficiently
Partner: Ingram Content Group

Commercialisation of mobile data
Partner: EE Limited

Data visualisation and analytic decision making
Partner: Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust

Value of public-domain data
Partner: British Library

Geospatial Data Mapping – Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey’s Challenge

This challenge investigates the feasibility of implementing a next-generation 3D building data layer for location-based services within a mobile platform.

Location-based services are experiencing dramatic growth, becoming one of the dominant mobile applications. In order to meet a growing demand for such services, Ordnance Survey is in the process of developing a number of 3D location data products for Great Britain that also have the potential to support additional initiatives, such as Building Information Modelling and FutureCities.

Ordnance Survey proposes to provide 3D location data for trial areas in Great Britain, with a view to exploring new ways of combining their own 3D mapping data with photography and other building data for location-based services within mobile applications.

Successful applicants should consider:

  • How the data will be visualised;
  • Ways to enhance the aggregation of 3D building data with location-based services and advertising and wider mobile retail interaction and associated applications;
  • How consumers and commercial clients will interact and interpret that data;
  • The user experience for mobile tablet and wearable interfaces; and
  • Usage patterns from end-users as well as corporate clients.

Applicants might wish to consider:

  • Potential realisation of a user experience framework.
  • Visualised business-to-consumer, business-to-business and business-to-government user journeys.

The successful applicant will be provided with full 3D building data for a particular urban site and be invited to trial their proposed solution with Ordnance Survey for a minimum of three months, before potentially being commercialised more widely.

The successful applicant retains their intellectual property and may work with other industry partners.

More information can be found on the website.

*Individual awards will be a maximum of £25,000* each, excluding VAT.

Useful links

Building Height Attribute alpha release

New building height data released

Height and imagery products

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