Streetkleen Bio Run an Empire
Shout Crime City Farmers
Innovation challenges from
Get Community Payback The Green Alchemy
My PTP Acce
GeoCraft Medal Routes
Green Space Mapper
We promote open collaboration in addressing the real needs and
Innovation challenges from
problems of communities where geography is key to a probable
Everything happens somewhere – that’s geography! So when it
• Running workshops (Pow Wows) that bring people together to
comes to tackling many intractable problems, geography and
identify real problems around which a GeoVation challenge can
geographic information, in connecting people, places, processes
be structured, (GeoVation Pow Wow outputs are shared openly on SlideShare®).
and planet, are key ingredients. GeoVation runs challenges to
• Maintaining an on and off line community that encourages
address specific problems within communities, which may be
innovative ideas to address specific problems.
satisfied, in part, through the use of geography. These challenges
• Organising camps where participants develop their ideas into
are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups,
prototype ventures using our ‘Innovation = problem x solution
government and individuals. They are focused on finding
x execution’ methodology.
innovative and useful ways of using geographic information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will
• Enabling participants to be ‘match fit to pitch’ for funding.
generate, social, economic and environmental value.
• Supporting winning ventures through to launch and beyond.
‘GeoVation Camp is intense but hugely rewarding. It squeezes creative thinking, innovative individuals and facilitative process into one short weekend and does so in a fun and engaging way.’
‘It was really nice to see that anyone can have a very small idea and for it to be just as valid as the more fully-formed business plans. It seems like a very good opportunity for people to make connections and get advice in areas they are not sure about in a really risk- free environment.’
Review challenge and problem statements.
Post your ideas on the GeoVation Challenge.
Participants have registered
ideas have been submitted
GeoVation was launched in 2009 to find innovative ways to solve
street, and building a sense of community. With the new Wales
real problems using geography as part of the solution. In April
Coast Path officially opened in May 2012, ‘How can we connect
2010, Ordnance Survey released its free-to-use OS OpenData™
communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path?’ prompted
product portfolio, as well as new terms for the use of
ventures that would stimulate sustainable economic development,
Ordnance Survey’s open application programming interface (API)
health, well-being and social inclusion. The fact that UK companies
OS OpenSpace®. This has recently been followed by the launch
could save more than £6 bn a year if they used resources more
of our mobile platform development kits. We are keen to see
efficiently prompted our ‘How can we help British business improve
challenges make use of these free resources, as well as the wealth
environmental performance?’ in March 2013. Our latest challenge,
of other open government data that has been released.
‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?’ focusses on the £8 bn cost to the UK economy of our inactivity.
Our challenges have focused on building local resilience within communities; real problems that require collaboration and
This booklet describes the development of the GeoVation
innovative thinking across all sectors of the economy (public
challenges, and the commitment, participation and collaboration
private, civil society and individuals) to address them. In 2010
of other networks, organisations and individuals that make-up
we launched ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ against the context of
the GeoVation community; through posting and commenting on
a global food crisis. ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’
ideas, ‘camping and pitching’, submitting venture plans; offering
focused on reducing the environmental impacts of transport,
help, feedback, support and advice. Most of all it is the story of
considering behaviour change, infrastructure and users’ travel
our GeoVation winners and community whose commitment,
experiences. In 2012 ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in
enthusiasm and ideas continue to inspire us.
Britain together?’ considered ideas to resolve neighbourhood
problems such as: anti-community behaviour, loss of the high
‘One of the best intense idea development processes I have experienced – and fun!’
The best ideas will be invited to the GeoVation Camp.
teams have participated in six GeoVation Camps
Finalists pitch for a chance to win innovation funding.
winners have been awarded a share of over £637,000 In funding to implement their ventures 3
‘It’s a great way to develop simple ideas into something more than just a dream or motivation to make something better. GeoVation help innovators build real businesses, confidence, and adds kudos to your project.’
GeoVation Awards Programme Showcase
Ordnance Survey launch GeoVation to promote the use of geographic information to solve real problems innovatively.
Finalists pitch ventures to judging panel for funding.
£22,000 FUNDING, 200 REGISTERED, 166 IDEAS
PowWow problems introduced at camp.
Transport challenge winners
Local Food Mapping workshop
Winners of best ideas invited to Ordnance Survey for a workshop to develop their ideas and obtain views on how to develop GeoVation further.
Wales Coast Path challenge
GeoVation, Tasting the Future and WWF host Local Food Mapping workshop, supporting local food innovation.
Food challenge winner
Launch ‘How can we transform neighbou in Britain together?’
What problems are there in yo barriers prevent you and your
£116,000 FUNDING, 451 REGI
Launch ‘How can we help British Business improve environmental performance?’ challenge
External hackathon with the Environment Agency
Environmental Performance challenge
£101,000 FUNDING, 260 REGISTERED, 47 IDEAS
Digital Shoreditch Festival GeoVation PowWow
‘How can we build Healthy Communities in Shoreditch?’
‘How can we encourage active lifestyles?’
Environment challenge winners
BITC Southampton Hub Event GeoVation PowWow
‘How can we build healthy communities in Southampton?’
Launch ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ challenge
Ideas in Transit supports the GeoVation Challenge initiative.
How can geography play a vital role in helping connect people to farming and locally produced, sustainable sources of food? £13,000 FUNDING, 76 REGISTERED, 51 IDEAS
GeoVation partners with Horizon Digital Economy Research to run first series of one-day OS OpenData Masterclasses.
How can we help reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of transport?
Invite different expertise in the food challenge theme to a problem finding workshop.
e urhoods ’ challenge
our neighbourhood and what council improving them?
ISTERED, 75 IDEAS
Host ‘Collaboration and User Innovation in Transport’ event To consider the barriers and how they can be overcome using open, collaborative approaches.
Launch ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ challenge
£161,000 FUNDING, 235 REGISTERED, 155 IDEAS
Launch ‘How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path?’ challenge
How can we encourage visitors to the Wales Coast Path and help stimulate sustainable economic growth, health and well-being in coastal communities? £126,000 FUNDING, 486 REGISTERED, 62 IDEAS
Wales Coast Path challenge
Wales Coast Path challenge winners
Launch ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?’ challenge
£101,000 FUNDING, 655 REGISTERED, 74 IDEAS
Active lifestyles challenge
Active lifestyles challenge winners
Neighbourhood challenge winners
The GeoVation Challenge: Open collaboration, people, innovators, ideas,
Audience – Transport Camp
‘It was fun, exhausting and emotionally draining – something everyone should do. I learnt so much and would love to do it again.’
Explaining GeoVation – Wales Coast Path camp
‘Two days of intense, enjoyable immersion in a sea of ideas and opportunity with like-minded, result focused thinkers and doers.’
Judging panel – Transport Showcase
‘Excellent event – indeed the whole process has been enlightening and particularly welcome the ‘openness’ of all those involved.’ Pitching – Neighbourhood Camp
Teamwork – Environment Camp Teamwork – Active Lifestyles Camp
Even the greatest idea is worthless if it isn’t developed... 6
teams, camps and showcase
Wales Coast Path Pow Wow
Prototyping – Environment Camp
Pitching – Transport Camp
‘Go with an idea, listen to people with experience, have an open mind and be prepared to adjust both your approach to pitching and the parameters of your idea.’
Active Lifestyles Camp
‘GeoVation Camp is intense, but hugely rewarding. It squeezes creative thinking, innovative individuals and facilitative process into one short weekend and does so in a fun and engaging way.’
Friday – Active Lifestyles Camp
Finalists – GeoVation Showcase
Wales Coast Path GeoVation Camp
... participants’ ability to realise their ideas is a crucial criterion for selection 7
Index to GeoVation Challenges and winners How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?
This challenge ran from 7 November 2013 to 15 January 2014 and during this period 655 people registered, 74 ideas were submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £101,000. Medal Routes
Run this town
£20,000 plus Community Award of £1,000
How can we help British business improve environmental performance?
This challenge ran from 6 March to 17 July 2013 and during this period 260 people registered, 47 ideas submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £101,000. Carbon Prophet
£29,000 plus Community Award of £1,000
Element Green Recycling
How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path?
This challenge ran from 14 March to 2 May 2012 and during this period 486 people registered, 62 ideas submitted and 5 winners shared innovation funding of £126,000. Snout Wales
Real Food Wales
£30,000 plus Community Award of £1,000
How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain?
This challenge ran from 9 February to 28 March 2012 and during this period 451 people registered, 75 ideas submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £116,000. Get Community Payback
£40,000 plus Community Award of £1,000
Green Space Mapper
How can we improve transport in Britain?
This challenge ran from 27 September 2010 to 11 February 2011 and during this period 235 people registered, 155 ideas submitted and 6 winners shared innovation funding of £161,000. Mission:Explore
£36,500 plus Community Award of £1,000
FixMyTransport – Anywhere!
Bikemapper / London Cycle Map Campaign
How can Britain feed itself?
This challenge ran from 16 June to 3 September 2010 and during this period 76 people registered, 51 ideas submitted and 2 winners shared innovation funding of £13,000. Foodnation
GeoVation Awards Programme
This challenge ran from October 2009 to January 2010 and during this period 200 people registered, 166 ideas submitted and 3 winners shared innovation funding of £22,000. MaxiMap
£11,000 plus Community Award of £1,000
How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? This challenge ran from 7 November 2013 to 15 January 2014 and during this period 655 people registered, 74 ideas were submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £101,000.
Medal Routes App from Ramblers Scotland Ramblers Scotland were awarded funding in 2014 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 lives. 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.
Run an Empire from Pan Studio Hoxton based, PAN Studio were awarded funding to develop their idea Run an Empire. Run an Empire is an exercise strategy game on a smartphone 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’.
Tagd from Mapsum Chris McCormack and Alex Davies-Moore of Wimborne based company Mapsum were awarded funding 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 geocachers to get more people involved in physical activity and to discover the outdoors.
OpenPlay The London based, OpenPlay team were awarded funding and won the Community Award. 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. OpenPlay can be used by local authorities, community groups, private organisations and mass audience. The funding awarded will allow them to develop new mapping functionality using Ordnance Survey data and develop a mobile app version to increase pubic usage of these spaces.
How can we help British business improve environmental performance? This challenge ran from 6 March to 17 July 2013 and during this period 260 people registered, 47 ideas submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £101,000.
Carbon Prophet from A R Carbon www.arcarbon.co.uk Richard Page and Andrew Turnball of A R Carbon, were looking for a way to help farmers become soil custodians, to improve fertility in their soil, while, at the same time, reducing farming costs and allowing them to make a decent living from the land. Their idea, which was awarded funding from the GeoVation Challenge to help business improve environmental performance, was to measure and map the carbon content of soils in the UK and, in doing so, develop a carbon trading scheme to unlock the value of this important asset, providing all farmers and land owners with a significant new income stream. Various conferences and reports have highlighted the desirability of projects that promote and encourage farmers to harness their crops natural ability to transform atmospheric CO2 into soil sequestered carbon. Profit margins in farming are falling, but farmers and growers are often unaware of the financial benefits of good soil management. By maintaining the fertility of their soil with sympathetic soil fertility management and natural additives such as compost they can save money on expensive fertilisers and improve their crop. As a consequence, they can build a reserve of sequestered carbon that, when traded, can offer them additional
‘One of the unexpected benefits of taking part in the GeoVation Challenge is the opportunity to network. Since winning I have travelled some 3,000 miles visiting potential trial sites, I’ve had meetings with government agencies and written press releases, articles and blogs. I have presented my project at Parliament, to a government minister and been interviewed for radio.’ Richard Page, A R Carbon.
income. This has a positive impact on their balance sheets and by monetising the increase in soil carbon, it is possible to drive fresh revenue streams into the industry benefiting farmers and the environment. Soil testing and the use of Ordnance Survey mapping data will enable farmers to see the carbon levels in their soil and encourage them to release the value of this, mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases by increasing the levels of carbon in their soils. The usefulness of the carbon map is threefold. It gives the ability to monitor and verify existing levels of organic carbon, it will increase interaction with UK farmers and encourage the development of practices that increase soil sequestered carbon and it will provide the baseline information that will form the framework for a voluntary, verified carbon offset trading scheme. Carbon Prophet can also help landowners, such as estates, golf and racecourses, to develop new revenue streams by allowing them to measure and build the carbon sequestered in their soils and derive an economic benefit from doing so. Carbon Prophet has many, wide ranging benefits for the whole of the UK, from increasing incomes in hard pressed farming communities to enabling businesses that would otherwise be net emitters of carbon to become carbon neutral.
GeoCraft from Happy Education www.geocraft.org.uk/blog GeoCraft is an idea from Zoe Ross, which aims to enable schools and business to work together to encourage learning about sustainability through Minecraft®, the hugely popular video game set in virtual 3D worlds made up of cubes of different materials. Zoe was awarded funding in the GeoVation Challenge to improve business environmental performance. Using Ordnance Survey’s OS OpenData, GeoCraft stimulates young people to learn about their local environment through a series of challenges and to develop ideas to address local environmental issues. After winning the GeoVation Challenge, Zoe set up the Community Interest Company, Happy Education and is refining and developing the ideas as they are implemented, with some elements working better in the classroom than they initially thought. A simple approach based on sound teaching and learning, rather than focusing on what Minecraft can do, is proving to be the most effective. The GeoCraft project uses Ordnance Survey’s OS OpenData within Minecraft to help students to learn about the environment and introduces them to Ordnance Survey data as they navigate their way around the virtual worlds we have built. Using Ordnance Survey data has enabled GeoCraft to recreate towns and places in Great Britain, making worlds that are more relevant to the children, teaching them about their local environment and what they
‘Winning the GeoVation Challenge has enabled us to develop, test and refine resources and Minecraft worlds and teaching resources. The money, support, advice and networks the Challenge has opened to us have been excellent as has the encouragement and enthusiasm in the project.’ Zoe Ross, Happy Education.
can do to protect it in the future. To facilitate this further, GeoCraft uses Minecraftedu, a version of Minecraft that has been especially designed for classroom use and enables a safe and secure world with greater teacher control. The town of Knutsford showing Ordnance Survey data mapped in Minecraft.
The Green Alchemist from Element Green Recycling
www.elementgreenrecycling.co.uk Thirty per cent of recycled co-mingled waste is sent to landfills due to contamination. The Green Alchemist, Ayo Isinkaye’ s idea to help businesses reduce costs by separating waste, was awarded funding in our 2013 GeoVation Challenge to improve business environmental performance. Using Ordnance Survey mapping to show the location of businesses, local waste carrier services and reprocessing companies, The Green Alchemist will help businesses to improve their recycling and separation of waste materials. It will make recycling simpler, more accessible, and financially rewarding. Contamination of waste is a big money wasting problem for many councils. We fail to realise the monetary value of the rubbish we produce. Clean separated waste is in demand by the reprocessing industry and they are prepared to pay for it, because it saves them money in the manufacturing process. However, contaminated waste is worth very little and actually costs money to be taken away. Working with a team of developers, much of the initial work focussed on data collection and the responsive web app design, which is completed. The development is now focussed on creating and organising data and the user functionality of the app. Access to Ordnance Survey map data has been paramount in building the app. By entering their postcode and the type of waste they have, organisations and households will be able to find out the value of their waste and see their local network of recycling facilities and waste courier options. All this information will be displayed via an open API on the Ordnance Survey map when the app is finished.
‘Winning the GeoVation Challenge has to be one of the proudest moments of my life. It has given us the opportunity to develop The Green Alchemist app. I hope the app will help the public to recycle more and give them the access and information to sell their waste.’ Ayo Isinkaye. CEO Element Green Recycling.
Streetkleen Bio Project
www.streetkleen.co.uk Gary Downie, of Streetkleen Bio’s idea to develop a practical, innovative solution based around the anaerobic digestion of dog waste to create usable energy (methane), was awarded funding in the GeoVation Challenge to improve business environmental performance. Dog fouling is a major issue for many of our towns and cities and is consistently raised as a public concern. Local authorities have not been able to provide a long-term, lasting solution to overcome this issue. In addition, the collection and disposal of dog waste is problematic with decisions needed on where and how many dog waste disposal points to allocate and how often they are used and need servicing? In the UK, there are over 1,200 tonnes of dog waste generated daily (Pet Foods Manufacturing Association 2012) and the financial cost of sending local authority collected dog waste to landfill is estimated at £72 million per year (Keep Britain Tidy). The environmental cost is also substantial and mountains of small plastic bags containing dog waste are sent to landfill daily, often in bags that take decades to degrade. Finding an alternative disposal method for dog waste is a challenge.
The Streetkleen Bio Project will gather information on dog fouling and waste disposal bins using Ordnance Survey data to map these. The project will use anaerobic digestion to dispose of dog waste and create energy from methane. The Streetkleen Bio app can help reduce costs and improve environmental performance while providing and incentive for alternative disposal method for dog waste. Since winning the GeoVation Challenge, Streetkleen Bio have been nominated as one of the Top 100 ‘Most Smartest, Disruptive and Innovative’ UK Small Businesses by Smarta and O2. They have also moved into new offices at Glyndwr University’s OpTIC Innovation Centre and joined the Welsh Government High Potential Starts Scheme. They are in discussion with Aylesbury Vale District Council regarding the world’s first commercial anaerobic digestion facility that utilises dog waste as a feedstock. They’ve been invited to design a renewable energy system for the developing world that utilises human bio solids.
‘Entering, and subsequently winning the GeoVation Challenge has given us the credibility, belief and confidence to follow our own innovative ideas to fruition. We have had our eyes opened to the value of geographic data and ways in which it can be used.’ Gary Downie, Streetkleen Bio.
How can we connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path? This challenge ran from 14 March to 2 May 2012 and during this period 486 people registered, 62 ideas submitted and 5 winners shared innovation funding of £126,000.
Real Food Wales from Mapkin
www.mapkin.co.uk/realfoodwales Sisters Helen and Nicola Steer were looking for a way for visitors to the Wales Coast Path to find the best local, sustainable and delicious food when they were hungry. They wanted to connect them to local businesses and communities, benefiting those who live and work along the route and showcasing local food. Their idea for a mobile app won funding in the 2012 GeoVation Wales Coast Path GeoVation Challenge, but came with its own problem: working around the poor mobile reception along the route, particularly in West Wales. After receiving funding, the sisters formed Mapkin, a small company based in South Wales and London, which uses mapping and technology to create and support social change. Mapkin’s team of five worked to develop the app; collecting data, coding, mapping and designing the user interface. The iPhone® app, Real Food Wales, was released as a pilot in Pembrokeshire in time for summer 2013.
‘I would like to thank Ordnance Survey and the GeoVation Challenge for believing in our idea. Without their support and funding we would not be where we are today. I am really excited about the future of Real Food Wales and look forward to expanding the app to include many other areas along the Welsh Coast Path.’ Helen Steer, Mapkin.
Real Food Wales utilises Mapkin’s unique network of local knowledge and the interactive map (with five zoom levels), which uses OS OpenData products, including OS VectorMap®, OS Street View®, Boundary-Line™, Strategi® and Land-Form PANORAMA®, showcases over 150 of the best food businesses in Pembrokeshire. A unique feature of the app is that it stores an offline map of Pembrokeshire onto the device, so users can access information when there is no mobile signal. Users can choose between a map or list display of nearby food businesses, and filter results by places to eat out, buy your own or food experiences. Entries include a description, opening hours, location, contact details and directions. The app features social media integration and a favourites function. Real Food Wales is a great example of how mapping, geography and innovation can help boost businesses and communities. The team are currently in talks with regional tourist boards and councils in Wales to bring the app to a wider area in 2014. The working pilot version of the app helps Mapkin enormously: it clearly shows functionality to potential clients and even those with no technology background, see the benefits. The core functionality of Real Food Wales is also being used in other ways: some of the team are developing a version of the app for use by local currencies (such as the Brixton pound). This will highlight places where local currency is accepted, enable pay-by-text and allow participating businesses to send out offers. Mapkin are also looking at making a related app, mapping all of London’s food and farmer’s markets.
Growing Routes from Richard Fairhurst
www.growingroutes.org.uk ‘The Wales Coast Path should be an engine for regeneration and prosperity – encouraging businesses to launch and expand along its 870 miles, bringing jobs and opportunities to local residents.’ Richard Fairhurst. Richard’s idea, ‘Growing Routes’, a website with online heat map to help businesses identify areas of opportunity along the Wales Coast Path and aid economic growth, received funding in the 2012 ‘Wales Coast Path’ GeoVation Challenge. Wales attracted 890,000 international visitors spending £333 million during 2010, but this information is either not widely understood or contextualised for local businesses to exploit. Richard wanted to help businesses to take advantage of opportunities created along the Wales Coast Path and identify the ‘sweet spots’ to start or grow their business.
‘GeoVation Camp helped me to hone my idea and develop a website that could be reused in other projects and areas. Using OS OpenData means the technology can be used to create websites in other tourist locations or trails throughout Britain, for instance cycle networks. I am grateful to Ordnance Survey for giving me the opportunity to develop and launch Growing Routes’. Richard Fairhurst, Growing Routes.
After receiving support, Richard set about building the website and heatmap engine and pulled in data from the back-end database, displaying it attractively. The Growing Routes website was launched in October 2013 and the core of the site is an easily accessible, draggable and zoomable heatmap of Wales. It integrates open datasets from different sources including OS OpenData, Meridian® 2, and several Natural Resources Wales datasets such as Landmap. The map draws on a huge range of data including tourist attractions and nature sites along the coastal path, highlighting areas with, for instance, a paucity of bed and breakfasts and campsites, or areas with good wildlife, shown by Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It also shows other important information in decision making, such as access to and proximity of road networks and urban areas. The colour layer superimposed ‘glows’ to show the best areas to start new business. Growing Routes has the potential to generate new jobs and business and for existing businesses to expand. Walkers or other path users can benefit from new business ventures, such as accommodation or restaurants, not too far from their route. Planned improvements over the coming months include adding routes to extend further than the Wales Coast Path, followed by work to promote and market the website. Growing Routes has potential to be developed and used along other routes and development work in 2014 is concentrating on a mobile-friendly version of the site, which could offer further opportunities for reuse of the flexible heatmap engine developed as part of the project.
Snout Wales from Oli formerly branded My Tour Talk
www.snoutit.com An audio travel guide on a smartphone app, providing visitors to the All Wales Coast Path with information on the destination and helping them connect with local businesses and communities along the Path. This idea from the team at Oli was awarded funding in the 2012 GeoVation Challenge to help connect communities and visitors along the Wales Coast Path. Oli’s idea successfully tackles the problem of how to provide visitors and locals with a wide resource of local area information that helps with the decision to visit the Wales Coast Path by being able to find out what is available to them in each of the areas they visit. Encouraging coastal tourism helps to bring about economic growth in the communities surrounding the Wales Coast Path. Another problem identified is inadequate Wi-Fi and poor mobile reception along some sections of the path. My Tour Talk became Oli – Outside Looking In, during September 2013 and technology is at the forefront of their innovation. Oli provides SNOUT branded audio travel apps for major tourist destinations and in January 2014 they launched Snout Wales on iPhone and Android® apps. Snout Wales is a travel guide which covers the 12 most visited destinations along the Wales Coast Path, such as Cardiff, Llandudno, and Aberystwyth. The apps provide information on accommodation, food and drink, shops, activities and attractions and guides visitors along bespoke itineraries to the sights, heights, places and people that can be discovered in Wales. Snout Wales allows users to access carefully planned and locally researched audio guide itineraries and real time, accurate travel guide information which is fully geo-located. Users can access photographs and offline maps can be purchased from within the app before being stored on the device so no Wi-Fi or mobile connection is required where signal is poor and roaming costs can be avoided.
‘Snout Wales allows users to access carefully planned and locally researched audio guide itineraries and real time, accurate travel guide information which is fully geo-located.’ Julie McNeice, Oli.
ap Ogam http://apogam.org The aim of the Cardigan based, ap Ogam team, Steve Knight, Sean Vicary and Rowan O’Neill, is to develop community through digital cultural production and practice. Their idea to develop a bilingual smartphone app, which would tell visitors local people’s stories of the places and features along the Wales Coast Path, was awarded funding In our 2012 GeoVation Challenge to connect visitors and communities along the Path.
Their bilingual (Welsh/English) smartphone apps will use OS OpenData and GPS positioned augmented reality to overlay the phone’s live camera view with place names from the Coast Path. These markers will link with site-specific audio-visual storytelling from the local communities to bring to life that sense of place that lies beyond the map. Since winning funding the team have created a not-for-profit company to run the project. They have designed, wireframed and developed an operational prototype app, which can be self-contained and operate even without signal as mobile and Wi-Fi coverage is variable along the Path. The data within the project is contained in two major datasets; the places to which the stories are attached and the stories themselves. This data has had to be divided up into manageable chunks so that it can be pre-loaded and stored on the device. The app content will also be available from a public website making it accessible to those without or unable to access the Coast Path. The project has been piloted and the team have been investigating the best way to engage with community groups and digital story telling projects along the Path. The next stage is beta testing of the live version of the app.
‘Imagine the landscape of the Coast Path as a book, with all the different layers of the landscape like the chapters of that book. Each chapter tells a story, and together they make one big story that transforms this landscape for us, giving it meaning and a sense of place. We want visitors to look past the beautiful cover of this book and share in the narrative that has shaped this place; giving them a deeper, richer experience and helping them understand their own place in the story.’ Steve Knight, ap Ogam.
Living Paths www.livingpaths.info Communities in Wales often find it difficult to share information about their locality, such as historic buildings, circular paths, geographical features and other points of interest. Living Paths! Llwybrau Byw! is a project that aims to empower local communities along the Wales Coast Path to create Wikipedia® pages and post stories about their communities, allowing diverse local information to become accessible. The idea from Robin Owain was awarded funding in the 2012 GeoVation Challenge to better connect communities and visitors along the new Wales Coast Path. There is a lack of information readily available on the Wales Coast Path. Some information is published in pamphlets, but these are expensive to distribute, therefore difficult to source. Publishing online is possible, but can be difficult due to the complexities of web-authoring for most people. Local people know best about their locality, sights to see and facilities available and through Wikipedia, a digital encyclopaedia; they can share that information. Better, richer information on Wikipedia would benefit the users of the Path as well as local people, connecting visitors with local communities through information on locations and points of interest (such as wildlife, shipwreck sites, castles, local tales etc).
In July 2013, Robin Owain was appointed the first Wikipedia Manager for Wales by Wikimedia UK and Wici Cymru and the Living Paths! project was started in January 2014. A training coordinator has been appointed along with nine wiki-skills accredited trainers. To date it has had approximately 1,200 new articles created and 1,500 images uploaded. The project will train business and community groups in all coastal counties that border the Wales Coast Path, with simple Wikipedia web-authoring and editing skills. There are 150 free workshops scheduled for the period April–July with registrations at www.livingpaths.info and wwwllwybraubyw.org Businesses providing visitor accommodation benefit by being able to dynamically import rich Wiki content and images into their own websites using a new WelcomeWiki Lite tool, which is free to workshop attendees. This adds considerable value for searchers when choosing their destination before booking, and helps them plan their trip.
‘GeoVation gave us the chance to sit down with experts and collaborate with Ordnance Survey using open source data and to work with other government agencies.’ Robin Owain, Living Paths.
How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain? This challenge ran from 9 February to 28 March 2012 and during this period 451 people registered, 75 ideas submitted and 4 winners shared innovation funding of £116,000.
Get Community Payback from Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust www.cpvisibility.org/getcp/ A mobile phone app that allows the public to nominate local ‘grotspots’ using Ordnance Survey mapping and engaging with Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust to ‘Get Community Payback’. This idea was awarded funding in the 2012 GeoVation Challenge to transform neighbourhoods in Britain. Community Payback projects involve unpaid work that offenders are instructed to do as part of a community sentence. Projects are typically litter removal, dealing with fly-tipping, cleaning graffiti and clearing undergrowth. The projects give offenders the chance to develop important life skills and reduce the risk of reoffending. Finding the right project location is important and requires interaction from the (local) public. Across Staffordshire and the West Midlands, over 612,000 hours of Community Payback were completed in 2012 by over 4,500 offenders on a community sentence, yet nominations for locations from members of the public remained relatively low. The Probation Trust wanted to raise the awareness of Community Payback and give members of the public an easier way to nominate projects and greater visibility of the work done. ‘Get Community Payback’ allow members of the public to nominate sites and send information with geo tagged photographs to the Trust. The Trust, a member of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA), has access to a wealth of Ordnance Survey digital map data. Displaying the exact location, along with a photo and accompanying information, streamlines the process for identifying and assessing the suitability of sites, avoiding the usual ground visit. The Trust builds a picture of potential sites using OS MasterMap® Topography Layer, looking at offender locations and identifying appropriate sites to develop. All nominations are acknowledged and return a unique URL to the app, to track the progress of the submission. Projects are posted online with photos of sites that have been cleared and offenders’ feedback about their experience. Linking local projects to geographic points helps the local community feel more engaged in decision-making and helps to make the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders more visible and meaningful. The Trust is making its code open-source and available for reuse by other organisations and probation trusts via Google® Code™. In developing the app, the Trust and project team have collaborated with new partners, such as with Ramblers Cymru and Wales Probation Service to see how offenders in Wales on Community Payback may be able to work on projects along the Wales Coast Path.
‘We learned a lot at the GeoVation Camp, where we were introduced to the concept of service design and its benefits, which helped us immensely when developing our idea. GeoVation has given us the opportunity to meet with other organisations and raise the profile of the work we are doing.’ Jason Davies, Data and GIS Analyst, Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.
Green Space Mapper from Groundwork London
www.greenspacemapper.org.uk An online consultation and surveying tool, used by residents or professionals, to capture information about their green spaces, geolocated using Ordnance Survey data, so areas can be better developed and utilised. Groundwork London’s Green Space Mapper idea was awarded funding in our 2012 GeoVation Challenge to transform neighbourhoods. People living in areas of disadvantage have five times less access to green space than their more affluent neighbours. Creatively used and well managed open spaces provide a place for people to get to know their neighbours, for children to play and contributes to healthier lifestyles. In many areas, residents want to improve the land on their estates, but don’t have a clear means to articulate their aspirations. Many housing associations have programmes of investment for their green spaces, working closely with residents.
‘We learnt a huge amount from attending the GeoVation Camp weekend and have applied the Innovation = Problem x Solution x Execution formula to a number of other projects. The weekend allowed us to spend time concentrating on the idea, something we couldn’t factor in during our normal working Paul Hodgson, Head of GIS, Groundwork.
Groundwork’s idea was to take the professional surveying tools used by GIS staff and create a mobile-friendly ‘web app’ offering many of the benefits, whilst being simple and enjoyable to use by residents and staff. GeoVation funding allowed Groundwork to commission a prototype tool, develop core questions and answers for surveying and test the tool with three housing associations. The system is loaded with sets of tried and tested questions, but Groundwork also created bespoke sets of questions and answers to be used at specific events or on specific sites. Green Space Mapper uses open standards and OS OpenData (such as OS Street View) has been used to create site boundaries, and the detailed boundaries of OS MasterMap Topography Layer can also be used when licencing is available. Key benefits of the tool are that information is gathered consistently, is accurately located and the results can be downloaded in minutes when used in a GIS or statistics produced in a spreadsheet. Green Space Mapper was used by local volunteers in the Wandle Valley Regional Park and also with Raven Housing Trust on a project to redevelop the Rivers Estate playground. To date, there have been: • 210 surveys completed. • 25 individual surveyors (20 of whom were local). • People new to surveying, carrying out 68% of the surveys. Green Space Mapper’s flexibility means that it also has wider applications, for example, parks surveys, river corridor management, footpath/cycle route assessments. Future plans include promoting the Green Space Mapper to other Groundwork regions.
Shout Crime from Ideal for All www.shoutcrime.co.uk Hate crime is one area of the criminal justice system that, evidence shows, often goes unreported. In the 2012 GeoVation Challenge we asked how we could transform neighbourhoods in Britain. Recognising the negative impact that hate crime can have on individuals and communities, Ideal for All, an Independent Living Centre in Sandwell, was awarded funding to develop their idea for a hate crime reporting smartphone app. The app which was created, Shout Crime, uses open data and provides a simple and effective reporting tool
‘Shout Crime is an important part of our work to tackle hate crime through open data and is a development by Ideal for All made possible by funding from Ordnance Survey.’ Ideal for All.
for individuals who are the victims or witnesses of hate crime. The function of the application is to increase accessibility and promote reporting of hate crime within communities. Shout Crime can be accessed simply and easily via any browser on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or other mobile device. The easy to understand menu provides three simple steps to report a hate crime in a safe and anonymous environment. Mapping and reporting formats enable users to report the location, type and time of a hate crime. Those who wish to receive confirmation of the report can enter a valid email address. Shout Crime reports made via a mobile phone provide the option to upload media files such as pictures, video or audio recordings of the crime, which are tagged to individual reports. Reports are sent to Ideal for All, which is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre and not to the police. A map showing incidence for a geographic location can be viewed together with statistics showing monthly trends for hate crime reporting on Shout Crime. Search facilities enable trend analysis to be undertaken within the application, while a dashboard presents summary analysis over a rolling 12 month period. Additional features are available for organisations requiring access to detailed reports.
www.foodtrade.com In our 2012 GeoVation Challenge to transform neighbourhoods, Ed Dowding was awarded funding to develop Sustaination (which later became FoodTrade), a dating site which allows food enterprises to use geolocation to connect up and trade more easily using social, local and mobile web technologies. The food web will map and analyse the
‘GeoVation is a fantastic way to find and nurture the most innovative ideas. Their support, flexibility, and understanding of startups has been invaluable.’
resources in any given area; bringing data-driven advantages to small businesses where the activity is. This will help to bring resilience to our food systems and prosperity to our high streets. FoodTrade is a social enterprise that aims to help every type of the business, from farm to fork, and takes the hassle out of sourcing and selling responsibly sourced produce. It helps food enterprises create networks, share information, boost their reputation, collaborate on bids, and find new customers and suppliers. It is free to use for individuals and helps them to find the foods they love, sold by the people they trust. Membership for business consists of a three level pricing model, starting with a free membership, which allows a business profile with contact and social media information to be shown on searches. The ‘Advanced’ membership allows business unlimited activity updates and searches, the ability to map their customers and send daily or weekly email updates. A pricing model for organisations will be introduced soon.
Ed Dowding, FoodTrade.
How can we improve transport in Britain? This challenge ran from 27 September 2010 to 11 February 2011 and during this period 235 people registered, 155 ideas submitted and 6 winners shared innovation funding of £161,000.
Mission:Explore from the Geography Collective
www.missionexplore.net A website and iPhone app to encourage children and young people to get outside exploring their local area and innovating with geography through social gaming; where participants in activities and challenges (‘missions’) score points and unlock rewards – Mission:Explore! This idea from the Geography Collective was awarded GeoVation funding in the first GeoVation Challenge in 2010. The Geography Collective is a group of teachers, activists and artists who came together to encourage (young) people to see and think about our world in new ways. They joined forces with The Workshop to enable Mission: Explore to happen, through the website, books, at festivals and camps. Mission:Explore missions are free to take part in and encourage development of local knowledge and community participation. ‘The more missions you do, the more rewards you’ll unlock and the more fun you’ll have during your stay on planet Earth.’ The initial funding from GeoVation enabled The Geography Collective to secure its partnership with The Workshop, and develop a website and an iPhone app to enable its missions to be geolocated and the interface and gamification element could be developed. It was also able to publish its first book – ‘The visible online presence and website, which is at the forefront of geography innovation, along with the credibility Ordnance Survey backing gave, allowed people to find out about Mission:Explore and enable further conversations and partnerships to develop.’ said Daniel Raven-Ellison of Mission:Explore. These partnerships include National Geographic®, which Mission:Explore has built a strong relationship with, particularly through Geography Awareness Week.
Mission:Explore was awarded further funding in the 2011 ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge, for its idea to create ‘missions’ to encourage families to use the National Cycle Network (NCN) and use gamification to help tackle habits and make cycling more desirable. Following this second tranche of funding, research examined the potential to expand the locations of missions to incorporate parts of the NCN and help promote cycling and active travel more generally. The research also explored different ways in which families engage in game-playing and their current cycling behaviour. The findings from research, along with data collected from family and school focus groups, helped shape an understanding of behaviour and barriers to cycling, and how the missions could be structured to encourage greater use of the NCN. Pilots were also carried out in four areas. Barriers to cycling, such as safety and knowledge of cycling routes, meant it was felt that the missions would most likely work best with families already experienced and confident in cycling together. Ten areas have been selected to run Mission:Explore cycling challenges.
‘The visible online presence and website, which is at the forefront of geography innovation, along with the credibility Ordnance Survey backing gave, allowed people to find out about Mission:Explore and enable further conversations and partnerships to develop’ Daniel Raven-Ellison, Mission:Explore.
GeoVation funding also allowed one member of the Geography Collective, Daniel Raven-Ellison, and a team from The Workshop to focus on development of Mission:Explore and a rebuild of the website, which was launched in October 2011. The rebuild was necessary to have a viable platform to run the cycling-themed challenges and also allowed organisations to be able to create their own branded versions of the challenges, which have so far attracted over 15 fully-paying clients. These range from schools to charities to businesses, and include National Geographic, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and a Nesta project with Sanctuary Housing. Mission:Explore is working on missions with a range of organisations and has also received £38,500 in funding from Arla, securing a place in the play arena, which wouldn’t have happened without the website. It iscurrently working with the Environment Agency® and Thames Water® to create missions designed to help increase water efficiency in schools, focusing on four London schools initially. The Mission:Explore website had 60,000 unique visitors in the last year, 5,000 registered on-site. Of its audience, 50% are outside of the UK. However, it is difficult to measure the level of interaction precisely; for example, a teacher who registers may use a particular mission with an entire class, or purchase a book for the class. Some books are available free as educational resources on TES, Guardian® and National Geographic, ~ so it is difficult to quantify their reach. There are also interactions that take place at festivals and camps. Going forward, the NCN missions will be launched in spring 2013 in 10 locations throughout the UK, with an aim of a possible 15% increase in NCN use, though this may take longer than initially expected. In hindsight, Daniel admits it may have been beneficial to concentrate on fewer areas to start off with. Mission:Explore is also looking to increase the number of users registered on its website and the number of repeat visitors, those who rate content, sign up to win, badge and numbers of paying clients. Daniel said ‘We have learnt a lot from our involvement with GeoVation, such as how to set up a company, encourage people to participate, forge new partnerships, social gaming skills and project management. We have worked collaboratively with other GeoVation challenge winners, such as Cityfarmers, to co-publish the Mission:Explore Food book and Integrated Transport Planning on a project in Lowestoft, aiming to increase the number of families using buses’. ‘We have been steadily increasing numbers to our website and forging new partnerships, but we would still like to reach the family audience, though this will require more financial investment for marketing. Mission:Explore has the potential to reach all children and families and those interested in education and behaviour change. The technology could be used by any industry to set challenges with rewards and points in recognition of completion’. Speaking about GeoVation Daniel added ‘The GeoVation Challenge process is fantastic. It has elevated us from having an idea to being a commercially-viable company with no debt that is exporting services to the United States and working with well-known brands and institutions. Anyone can enter and be supported in developing their idea and think creatively and critically about how to solve a problem first and the solution second. Other benefits include the connections and opportunities that have helped us to scale-up and becoming part of a network of organisations that help each other, almost like a GeoVation alumni network, and the benefit of having support from Ordnance Survey as a trusted and well-known organisation within the UK.’
‘The GeoVation Challenge process is fantastic. It has elevated us from having an idea to being a commerciallyviable company with no debt that is exporting services to the United States and working with well-known brands and institutions.’ Daniel Raven-Ellison, Mission:Explore.
myPTP from Liftshare www.liftshare.com/uk A personal travel plan with all an individual’s options in one document, created with a search time of under 30 seconds, is the idea that was put forward by Liftshare and awarded GeoVation funding in the 2011 transport-themed GeoVation Challenge. Liftshare is a social enterprise, ‘mission-driven rather than profit-driven’, whose aim is to encourage sustainable transport options and cut carbon emissions by car sharing. myPTPs are individual personal travel plans produced in a single document, which allow individuals to evaluate their transport options, while considering CO2, financial and other implications such as calories burnt. This can be used to improve the commute to work and create a modal shift towards more sustainable travel options.
s ’ e r a h s t f li P T P my
‘It’s really exciting to see how people engage with the process once they start trying alternative methods of travelling to work. Some have even found new routes themselves, which they feed back to the data provider so that routes options and timings continue to improve’. Bryony Ecclestone, liftshare.
After receiving funding from GeoVation, Liftshare piloted the system with employers using a bulk upload tool to allow travel planners to deliver a large number of PTPs to employees ‘en masse’. The pilot exceeded the target with 21% looking to change their daily travel plans. Building on feedback, Liftshare soft-launched myPTP with a major council, who purchased 15,000 myPTPs. The myPTP project has kept up momentum since the launch of the successful pilot – an example of this is the work that has been conducted in Blackburn and Darwen as part of their Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project. To date, as a result of the hard work conducted by their LSTF team using the myPTP tool, they have seen a 17% modal shift with individuals moving away from driving by themselves to walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.
PERSO TRAV NAL PLAN EL S
myPTP helps new recruits and existing employees to choose sustainable transport options, working with the organisation’s travel coordinator who understands their employees’ and the organisation’s expectations. Liftshare can also feedback to transport providers, where there may be increases in demand, for example, expansions or new office builds.
Going forward, over 90 clients have signed up and are showing interest, and this list is still growing. Liftshare has now used myPTP across a number of sectors, working with private companies, universities, hospitals, local authorities, job centers and providing personal travel plans to residential areas. A ‘widget’ for embedding on an organisation’s website is in the pipeline, which will make it easy for individuals to access the myPTP tool. Liftshare was selected as a winner of the 2012 Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel for the groundbreaking and tireless ways it encourages people to think differently about how they travel and car share. It was awarded ****** a share of £30,000 in prize money to further its work to promote sustainable travel. As a result of GeoVation ** ******
****** *****its funding and work generated from this, Liftshare has been able to increase *** staff from 18 to 29 employees. ******
Cyclescape from Cyclestreets www.cyclescape.org
Cyclescape, an interactive website that provides cycling campaign groups with a toolkit for easy discussion and resolution of campaigning issues, was awarded funding in the 2011
transport-themed GeoVation Challenge. Cyclescape is created by CycleStreets, a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs the UK cycle-journey planner. The website aims to facilitate the work of cycle advocacy groups by tackling the typical problems they face; getting more people involved, avoiding volunteers overload, getting up to speed on issues facing cyclists, working more productively with local authorities and discovering best practices around the UK. It also aims to improve and automate typical processes. Geography is at the
heart of the system, and OS OpenData is available as a map layer.
Features of the website include full-featured discussion tools, subscription based on ‘watching’ geographic areas drawn onto the map, integrated collision data, group privacy settings, a library of resources that can be ‘pulled-in’ to the discussions, and more. Automatic visibility of planning applications is being added. Cyclescape was developed by a small team of specialist developers as an open-source project, allowing others to get involved. It could potentially be repurposed for other communities of interest, such as supporting the
yclescape: Logo suggestions
advocacy work of pedestrian groups. This, along with the ability to translate it to other languages, could bring opportunities for funding and open-source development.
Initial usage has seen a doubled level of activity, new involvement, little off-topic discussion, with issues being brought to conclusion effectively. The robust design framework established has ensured the site will meet the challenges of wider availability, although more work is needed on the site to meet its full potential. The site was showcased at the main annual cycling campaign community conference in October 2012, where the head of the national campaigning charity announced, he was ‘blown away’ by what he had seen. Groups are being added one-by-one as the site takes on its national focus. Cyclescape aims to provide an all-in-one platform customised to the needs of cycling advocacy groups around the UK. The challenge is to cater for the differing processes and skills within these groups and facilitate opportunities for collaboration. The long-term success of the site will be judged by how groups can influence change more effectively at a local level and work with local authorities to increase rates of cycling; for example, improved cycle facilities, safer streets and more cycle parking.
‘We would like to thank everyone involved in GeoVation for enabling this project to go ahead. We are excited to have been able to deliver it, and are very encouraged by its potential.’ Martin Lucus-Smith, CycleStreets.
FixMyTransport Anywhere! from mySociety www.fixmytransport.com mySociety is a UK charity whose mission is to help people become more powerful in the civic and democratic parts of their lives, through digital means. They build websites that give people simple, tangible ways to connect with and improve their society. In the 2011 transport-themed GeoVation Challenge they were awarded funding to develop a mobile version of FixMyTransport, a website making it easy for people to report and get common transport problems resolved. Using the mobile app people can report problems, such as broken ticket machines or buses that leave early, when they happen – rather than waiting until later and forgetting. mySociety sends the information provided straight to the correct transport operator or local authority for action. Reports and responses are posted online so that other people can support, respond and give advice. mySociety projects are built on free and open-source software so that individuals and organisations can share this globally to build their own variations.
Following GeoVation funding, development of the FixMyTransport website was completed and the initial mobile version was launched in summer 2011. Feedback and insights informed a more complex version, which launched in December 2011. The site uses geolocation and automatically pinpoints the user’s whereabouts – useful for those travelling in unfamiliar places. Users can see other reported problems nearby and engage with local transport problems. Maps are scrollable and user-friendly to mobile browsers. Paul Lenz, of mySociety comments, ‘The mobile site generates a large amount of traffic, but the core focus at the moment is to increase the number of people who, having visited, report problems on the site.’ Value is seen in creating a useful and well-used website and the website has in the region of 280,000 monthly users, of whom around 90,000 access using mobile devices, with another 35,000 on tablets. Paul added ‘Anyone who uses a public transport route or service that is improved or fixed as a result of a reported problem or campaign started can benefit. During development we have learnt a lot about transport data, but more specifically, the extent to which many transport operators are unwilling to publicly communicate with their customers – which we continue to work to overcome. Through the GeoVation network, we have also formed a partnership with fellow GeoVation challenge winners ITP (AccessAdvisr), which led to a successful World Bank bid developing a fault-reporting system in the Philippines.’
‘Through the GeoVation network, we have also formed a partnership with fellow GeoVation challenge winners ITP (AccessAdvisr), which led to a successful World Bank bid developing a faultreporting system in the Philippines.’ Paul Lenz, mySociety.
AccessAdvisr from Integrated Transport Ltd. www.accessadvisr.net AccessAdvisr, a free website that provides ease-of-access information about places of interest and transport stops/stations, has been in development since 2012. It’s been designed so that content can be updated by a user-community of real people whose ratings, comments and photos share their views and experiences of accessing different places. The idea, from Neil Taylor of Integrated Transport Planning Ltd (ITP), was awarded funding in the transport-themed GeoVation Challenge. Insight from research conducted by ITP revealed that people with limited mobility often piece together information about the location, quality and reliability of accessible transport networks and destinations from various sources. AccessAdvisr puts people who experience mobility impairments in charge of managing and maintaining accessibility information for use before and during their journeys. The key stages of the project were to review and broker existing data, recruit external software developers, establish proof-of-concept software specifications and develop the software. A beta release of AccessAdvisr was tested in Loughborough and Nottingham, and subsequent development has been inspired by feedback from disabled people in Milton Keynes and Nottingham – where the ITP team has been working with the local councils to continue enhancing the tool. There are currently over 200 user profiles registered on the platform, and iPhone and Android smartphone apps available. Beneficiaries are disabled people, of whom there are estimated to be around 10 million in the UK, and those experiencing some form of mobility impairment. A team of 10 people have been involved in the development and promotion of AccessAdvisr, and ITP has recently partnered with the University of Nottingham to establish a Technology Strategy Board-backed Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Working together, ITP and the University will be appointing an in-house software developer to accelerate the pace at which enhancements to the software tools can be delivered. Their aim is to create a set of information tools that enable better door-to-door accessible journey planning. Neil Taylor comments: ‘The key benefits for us have been learning about the software development process and creating accessible software tools. The project has raised ITP’s profile and enabled us to gain recognition for the philosophically-focused nature of much of our transport-planning and research work. We learned that anything is possible in software development terms, depending on time and budget. We have also learnt about ways to combine and display point-based information from multiple sources of accessibility information.’ AccessAdvisr’s success is measured by website usage, app downloads and the amount of user-generated content and location ratings added to the platform. User feedback and suggestions are important to shape platform modifications, and ITP’s work with Suffolk County Council, Milton Keynes Council and Nottingham City Council has enabled their team to introduce AccessAdvisr tools to disabled people in different areas of the UK. In summary, Neil states: ‘Through GeoVation, we have built an excellent network of contacts with software developers also interested in improving Britain’s transport. We have also collaborated successfully with other GeoVation entrants to work with clients both internationally and in the UK.’
‘Access Advisr’s creators, Integrated Transport Planning Ltd, ...are also using open data to improve the quality transport projects for local authorities in England. As well as working on behalf of the World Bank to develop and pilot a suite of open-source software tools and open data platforms that will improve the way urban transport systems function in the Philippines.’ The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Cabinet Office Minister, March 2012. At an address on the economic benefits and innovation potential of opening up availability of government data.
London Cycle Map bikemapper.org.uk cyclelifestyle.co.uk
A single cycle map with a ‘compass colour system’ that is clear, easy-to-use, and corresponds to a unified network of signed cycle routes throughout Greater London – the cycling equivalent of the London Underground map. This idea from Simon Parker, supported by Ben Irvine editor of Cycle Lfestyle magazine, was awarded funding in the 2011 transport-themed GeoVation Challenge. Simon developed an interest in mass cycling in 1999. ‘I’d spent the summer hiring out bikes to people in Richmond Park,’ he explains, ‘and was blown away by the smiles of people who’d been for an eight-mile bike ride, and loved every minute.’
London Cycling Network (proposed)
The idea for an improved signage strategy occurred to Simon later when, following a cycle route home from somewhere new, the signs just suddenly disappeared. ‘I was completely disorientated and didn’t know which direction I’d been going’ he says. ‘All I had with me was an old London Cycle Network map, but without the corresponding signs, it was redundant.’ Simon’s idea of using colours to indicate the direction of travel, could simplify the way the routes on the cycle network are waymarked, making journey planning easier. The ‘compass colour system’ groups routes by colour depending on their orientation. For example, cold blue for the north-south routes, and sunny red for the east-west routes. GeoVation funding was awarded to develop a website and photomap, www.bikemapper.org.uk, launched in 2011. The website invites people to log photos and videos of functioning and non-functioning parts of the cycle network, which can be rated according to safety and the ease which they can be made to work. This information could be used to inform debate about where investment in the cycle infrastructure should be made. The website shows around 700 photographs and has been publicised to cycle bloggers and cycling organisations. Cycle Lifestyle magazine continues to promote and campaign for the London Cycle Map to be unified with a network of signed cycle routes. Ben Irvine comments ‘The map has potential to benefit anyone who cycles through London and revolutionise transport in London, opening up cycling to resident and visiting cyclists. Funding from Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation added to the credibility of the idea.’ Simon makes the point that a network approach can be pursued in all of the UK’s towns and cities. ‘This isn’t just about London,’ he insists, ‘the important thing is to think in terms of a network, and to get this network up and running.’
‘The map has potential to benefit anyone who cycles through London and revolutionise transport in London, opening up cycling to resident and visiting cyclists. Funding from Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation added to the credibility of the idea.’ Ben Irvine, Cycle Lifestyle.
How can Britain feed itself? This challenge ran from 16 June to 3 September 2010 and during this period 76 people registered, 51 ideas submitted and 2 winners shared innovation funding of £13,000.
Foodnation™: The people’s digital co-op www.food-nation.co.uk Foodnation’s mission is to have Foodnation hubs within cycling distance of most UK households. It provides a platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area, enabling them to make transactions for local organic food and fruit and veg box-delivery schemes. Louise Campbell had the idea and set up the company in March 2011 after receiving GeoVation funding in the ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ GeoVation Challenge. After securing funding, she obtained data and built a pilot platform for transactions to take place. Building on feedback from testing, the Foodnation app was launched in May 2012 and the web app followed in September. There have been 1,000 downloads of the app and traffic to the website increased 400% following the web app launch. Farmers, without the capability to set up their own websites, pay a percentage from sales to use the platform to sell fruit and veg boxes directly. Foodnation partnered with Transition Town Maidenhead to run a pilot scheme for ordering organic fruit and veg boxes from a local supplier. Running through July and August 2012, the pilot saw orders of £400 per week from its 20 members. There is potential to launch Foodnation Co-operative Maidenhead website in future development, with 40,000 people in Maidenhead benefiting from this method of ordering local produce. The model for the Foodnation Co-operative is scalable for roll out to Transition Towns throughout the UK. It has potential to create several new jobs; in Maidenhead there are currently five volunteer roles and Hub Coordinators being recruited.
Louise says she has learnt a lot from the GeoVation experience and from starting a digital project from scratch. ‘I learnt digital marketing skills and what is required to develop a mobile app. Also project management skills and to be cautious about how fast you can start a new business with limited funds. Given the funding again, I would spend much more on digital marketing at the beginning than into the project development.’ Through GeoVation, Foodnation has made links with the Transition Towns Network, Sustain, Tasting the Future and Making Local Food Work. Looking ahead, Foodnation will continue to build on the success of the app and website, and work with partner organisations interested in promoting local, sustainable food.
‘I learnt digital marketing skills and what is required to develop a mobile app. Also project management skills and to be cautious about how fast you can start a new business with limited funds.’ Louise Campbell, Foodnation.
City Farmers city-farmers.co.uk City Farmers is a community interest company, set up by Helen Steer and Pete Boyce in 2011 after receiving GeoVation funding. It helps local government and communities engage with sustainability issues through data, mapping and activism. They are particularly focussed on issues that involve food, micro enterprise and local economies. The project began by researching existing growing provisions, communities, projects and challenges within Lambeth. The team specialises in using open data to create multi-layer maps, which have proved incredibly valuable at visualising and framing the problems, enabling conversations between individuals, communities, charities and government. It has developed a range of maps showing food growing, crime, education and various other types of ‘data topography’. City Farmers also support and create grassroots projects, run workshops and organise collaborations. They started with a geographical focus on Lambeth, including specific areas such as Vassall Ward, one of the most deprived areas in Britain. Now more established, they have worked across South London, in Hackney, and even as far afield as Wales.
One example of a project they’ve set up, is Grow Beer, a replicable small-scale social enterprise. It involves a group of growers producing hops across their local community in gardens, parks and community areas, then working with a microbrewery to produce a truly local beer. The project celebrates beer, growing and community, plus it is an excellent way to get people excited about regional food and drink. It has expanded to eight groups across London and the UK, plus one in Germany, and offers free support to amateur hop growers and those who want to set up their own local project growbeer.city-farmers.co.uk. Helen was named as one of the GLA’s 2014 London Leaders for her work in sustainable business with a focus on this micro enterprise project. The team have also co-published a children’s book, Mission:Explore Food, with GeoVation winner the Geography Collective. The book encourages families to think about their food in a playful way: not just making or eating it, but also considering where it comes from and goes to. Amongst other projects, City Farmers are currently working on a local food strategy with Lambeth and Southwark public health and local government. Pete has been named a Director of the Lambeth Food Partnership which is facilitating this process. He also leads their working group on food-related enterprise. During the last couple of years, the team has learnt about how local government works, gained experience of working with and for community groups, and learnt valuable lessons, such as ensuring projects are community-led from the start and to charge for its services!
‘The team have learnt a lot about how local government works and gained experience of working with community groups, including valuable lessons, such as ensuring projects are community led from the very start and to charge for their services earlier!’ Helen Steer, City Farmers.
GeoVation Awards Programme This challenge ran from October 2009 to January 2010 and during this period 200 people registered, 166 ideas submitted and 3 winners shared innovation funding of £22,000.
MaxiMap® Giant Floor Maps www.maximap.co.uk When Ann Jones was teaching history to schoolchildren, it became apparent that a lot of pupils didn’t know where the countries of the United Kingdom were and this made it difficult for them to visualise the information they were being taught. So Ann commissioned a giant map of the British Isles and took it into the classroom to highlight cities where civil disturbances took place in the 19th century for her Year 10 GCSE pupils. Ann then joined forces with Rowena Wells, of Llanelli printing company, Heritage Screen Print, to create MaxiMap – a giant floor map that is a fun and active way to learn about geography. It was Ann’s idea that impressed the judges and audience in the first GeoVation Challenge in 2010 and secured funding to develop the idea which allows pupils of all ages the chance to brush up on their geographic skills using the enormous floor-sized maps, which are a teaching tool to expand pupils’ knowledge of the world. There are three versions of the map; British Isles, Wales, or a world map, and the funding allowed MaxiMap to buy satellite imagery of the world, new imagery of the UK and offer the map at a subsidised cost initially. The giant map was launched at the GA conference in 2010, and following this, feedback was sought from teachers.
Rowena Wells commented, ‘The maps cost £330 each and currently 100 maps have been sold to schools and other organisations, such as The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which ordered nine of the maps to be used in its educational programmes. Ramblers Wales also purchased a map for events relating to the opening of the Wales Coastal Path. Feedback from those that have purchased the maps has been great, as they have found them incredibly useful and engaging teaching aids. There are additional tools that can be purchased alongside the maps, such as markers and English and Welsh place names. MaxiMap has also developed a range of teaching aids, such as a periodic table, and now offers Africa and Europe floor maps, as well as a political map of the world. Rowena added, ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating the maps to children at the various events we have attended. We are now getting education packs together to tie in with the World War 1 commemorations this year, and in conjunction Ann will provide individual lessons and inset training’. See also GeoVation Awards winners, Mission:Explore on page 22.
‘Feedback from those that have purchased the maps has been great, as they have found them incredibly useful and engaging teaching aids.’ Rowena Wells, MaxiMap.
Active Lifestyles GeoVation Camp
Helping at GeoVation Camp is quite addictive During GeoVation Camp we support for the finalists who are
The GeoVation process itself is really interesting, and makes the
developing their prototype ventures, by providing help with service
event hugely valuable to all the teams at camp. It was great to see
design principles and with engaging with Ordnance Survey data and
the development of all the ideas over the course of the weekend.
services. On the next pages two of our helpers tell you about their
No matter how much the teams had prepared for camp beforehand,
experience of helping at the recent GeoVation Camp.
following the GeoVation process made each clearer and stronger, ready to pitch for funding on Sunday afternoon. It was an exciting
Shona Quinn of Ordnance Survey:
and exhausting weekend, but I think we all came away from the
‘After a great experience helping at a previous GeoVation Camp,
event inspired by the ideas and enthusiasm of the teams involved.
I knew that I definitely wanted to help out again – the buzz in the
I’m looking forward to seeing what all of the teams go on to do next!’
atmosphere at camp is quite addictive! There were several of us ‘returner’ helpers, showing that GeoVation is an inspiring event to
‘A fantastic crash course in design thinking that provided a fresh way of looking at business planning. It was exhausting, but seeing the pitches come together on Sunday was inspiring and I look forward to seeing what the winners can produce going forward.’
attend, whether you’re a helper or a member or an ideas team. And thanks to more new helpers this year, there was more support for each team than ever before. Every team had at least one Ordnance Survey helper with them all weekend, so there was dedicated assistance available for the teams throughout the camp. This new development in the camp process worked well – allowing
‘The best thing for me was the experience of working in an environment that was dynamically different from my everyday work and for helping the Idea team/Innovators create a successful bid for funding. I felt a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I’d helped evolve the team’s idea into a winning bid.’
the teams and helpers to really concentrate on identifying the ‘problem’ that each idea was solving, the ‘solution’ that the team was providing or proposing, and their method of ‘execution’ to make their solution happen. I also had a chance to help several different teams practice their pitches on the Sunday morning of camp and it was great to see how each team worked and find out about the solutions they were proposing to help us all live more active lifestyles.
Helping to turn good ideas into great innovations ‘I enjoy meeting innovative creative people and having a chance to use my skills in a meaningful way’
GeoVation Camp process is facilitated by service designers who
good ideas into great innovations. Perhaps the biggest lesson
employ design thinking, techniques and processes. In addition,
from this great weekend is that, even for grown-ups, innovation
we are fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of the MDes
can be – or rather has to be – engaging, inspiring and fun!’
Service Design Innovation students from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts.
‘It was a good experience in which I could work with professionals from other fields in a well-appointed environment. Above all, as a service design student, the opportunity to listen to various ideas was very useful. I can assure other people it was worth it.’
Boris Divjak. London College of Communication: ‘One of the first things you notice when visiting Ordnance Survey’s head office in Southampton is the remarkable size of its logo placed in front of the entrance. The building you are about to enter makes you feel confident that you are there to do some serious business. For the 10 teams competing at the GeoVation Challenge this was perhaps a sign of hope that they might gain an important business partner. For us, students of a Service Design Masters course participating as helpers, it was an opportunity to observe how new, innovative service solutions were being born in the real world. ‘Some of the activities at the camp may have seemed slightly out of place in a building like this, but Lego cubes, paper airplanes and dancing on the stage of a conference hall were all essential to the innovation process! The facilitators from Nonon were more than helpful in encouraging an extremely relaxed, yet bustling working environment, enabling sketches to turn into business models and
The GeoVation team at
Chris Parker – Head of GeoVation Chris co-founded and heads up GeoVation, Ordnance Survey’s open innovation challenge programme. He is responsible for developing challenges, securing funding and partners, and developing the GeoVation Programme. Chris is a geographer and land and water resources scientist who has developed innovative uses of geographic information within the public, private and civil society sectors in UK and overseas in Africa, Europe, the Gulf and Pakistan. He is keen to see greater, innovative use of geography in responding to global challenges and communities’ needs. Chris likes to jump on his bike or walk when he gets the chance.
Viv Alexander – GeoVation Community and Event Manager Viv plans and manages the GeoVation Challenges, events and community. She engages with everyone in the GeoVation community, keeping them up to date and informed and encouraging great ideas through the blog, social media and the ideas platform. Prior to joining Ordnance Survey, Viv has worked in communities and with young people. With a growing number of GeoVation winners, Viv really enjoys working with them and seeing their ideas develop. She also monitors and reports on the value created from their projects. Outside of work, Viv is a keen runner, swimmer and traveller.
Jonathan Field – GeoVation Community and Event Assistant Jonathan manages the GeoVation social media, using a variety of platforms including Twitter®, Facebook® and the GeoVation Blog. Prior to working with the GeoVation team, Jonathan was a Graphic Designer in Corporate Design and Publishing. Having successfully applied for our internal, senior management-training programme, he is currently on secondment with the GeoVation team. During this time he has been responsible for the follow-up research on the Pow Wow outputs, helping to engage with the GeoVation community and running camps/challenges. Outside of work Jonathan has been renovating his house from top to bottom and keeping the team supplied with cake.
If you’re interested in finding out more about GeoVation or how you could work with GeoVation on a future challenge, then we’d be glad to hear from you – please email us at:
Innovation challenges from
firstname.lastname@example.org Acknowledgements The GeoVation team would particularly like to thank the following people and their organisations, without whom GeoVation would not be possible: Judges: Roland Harwood (100%Open): Chair of Food, Transport, Neighbourhood and Environment Challenge, Andrew Middleton (TYF): Chair of Wales Coast Path and Active Lifestyles Challenge, Steven Feldman (Knowwhere Consulting): Chair of first GeoVation Challenge. Peter ter Haar (Ordnance Survey), James Cutler (eMapSite), Bryan Forbes (SBRI, Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Gary Gale (Nokia), Steve Coast (OpenStreetMap), James Alexander (Hoopoe Vision), Eloise Day (Capital Growth), Nick Snelgar (Future Farms), Victoria Harris (The Prince’s Rural Action Programmes, Business in the Community, (BITC)). Andrew Goodwin & Serena Cussons (Department for Transport, (DfT)), Christopher Osborne (Ito World), Glenn Lyons (University of the West of England), Richard Kemp-Harper (TSB), Tracy Ross (University of Loughborough), Alison Prendiville (London College of Communication), Daniel Raven-Ellison (Mission:Explore), Marianne Guldbrandsen (Northern Circle), Richard Bridge (Community Matters), Angela Charlton (Ramblers Cymru), Bill Oates and Gareth Browning (Welsh Assembly Government (WAG)), Peter Francombe (Visit Wales), John Carpenter, John Kimmance and Liz Ratcliffe (Ordnance Survey), Ant Parsons (Environment Agency), Jason Davies (Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust), Quentin Johns (Hub Westminster), Gwenda Owen (CTC), Andrew Adams (Bournemouth University). Camp and Pow Wow Facilitators: Sean Miller, David Townson, Murray Sim, Richard Telford, Nick Devitt, Rob Maslin and Laura Sorvala (Nonon). Helping to design and run GeoVation challenges: Sam Henderson (Agrarian Renaissance), Colin Tudge (Campaign for Real Farming), Ruth West (College for Enlightened Agriculture), David Simoes-Brown (100%Open), John Sheridan (National Archives), Karl Rego, Clare Jenkinson and Will Popham (BITC), Richard Barnett, (New Forest Transition Network), Sarah Church (DEFRA Food Policy Unit), Ana Svab (Ways2Work), Duncan Wilson (Arup), Eric Matthews (Ito World), Heather McInroy (National Business Travel Network, BITC) Ivana Gazibara (Forum for the Future), Louise Cooper (IBM), Noel Hatch (Kent County Council), Sam Mullins (London Transport Museum), Alice Casey (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, NESTA), Amanda Gore (Design Council), David Wilcox (Social Reporter), Edith Galliers (Barking and Dagenham Council), Mark Pinheiro (Cabinet Office), Parminder Jutla (UnLtd), Alex Badley (Hen-dy, SD), Andrew Hurst and Stella Asprou (WAG), Andy Hurst (Visit Wales), Ann Whelan (Countryside Council for Wales), Carole Startin (Tourism Partnership North Wales), Chris Wright (Snowdonia Active), David Williams (Duke of Edinburgh Award), Caroline Thompson, Dyfan Searell, Jenny Dickinson and Martin Owen (Inventorium), Gwenda Owen (Ramblers Cymru), John Abbitt (Snowdonia National Park), Paul Sandham (Geo Geeks), Peter Hewlett (Walking North Wales), Sioned Jones (Anglesey Council), Amanda Harries (Hay Productions), Ant Parsons (Environment Agency), Dave MacLachlan (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park), James Hitchings, Justin Lewis and Tom Hadfield (Youth Hostel Association), Malcolm Ward (NHS Wales), Maria Rocke (Kidwelly Local Council), Melanie Davies (Cyclists’ Touring Club), Peter Cole (Capital Region Tourism), Laura Sorvala (Auralab), Phil Evans (Wales Info), Terry Jackson (Location Wales); Tim Harling (Tidy Studio), Michelle Rose-Innes (Rose-Innes Designs), Paul Thurston (Design Wales), Paula Nickson, Simon Redding, Gitty Ankers, John Hescott and Chris Jarvis (Environment Agency), Dan Cooper (Hampshire County Council), Andy Chilton (Small and medium enterprises Environment Business Consultant), Al Kennedy (Good for Nothing), Steve Marriott (Bristol City Council), Nathan Gray (Helistrat), Jack Buckner, Nick Evans, Allison Savich, James Radford and Ruth Alleyne (Sport England), Mike Abromowitz (in2touch), Andy Anstey (Limelight Sports), Karen Creavin and Emma Woolf (Birmingham City Council), Sam Parry (Hackney Council), Sian Goss and Patrick Sayers (University of Southampton students), Jen Owen (University of Bristol student) We would also like to thank Dr Alison Prendiville and the MDes in Service Design students from London College of Communication and the many Ordnance Survey colleagues who have helped at five of our GeoVation Camps.
You can follow our winners' progress, challenge annoucements, and other GeoVation activity through our regularly updated GeoVation blog:
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This document has been screened in accordance with the requirements set out in Ordnance Survey’s Equality Scheme. If you have difficulty reading this information in its current format and would like to find out how to access it in a different format (Braille, large print, computer disk or in another language), please contact us on: +44 (0)8456 05 05 05. Views expressed and images shown in the case studies within this publication are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent those of Ordnance Survey or GeoVation. Images: GeoVation winners, 2014 taro911/Shutterstock.com, 2014 Francesco83/Shutterstock.com, 2014 photographee.eu/Shutterstock,com. Ordnance Survey, the OS Symbol, Land-form PANORAMA, GeoVation, OS, OS MasterMap, OS OpenSpace, OS VectorMap, Strategi and Street View are registered trademarks and Boundary-Line and OS OpenData are trademarks of Ordnance Survey, the national mapping authority of Great Britain. Ordnance Survey acknowledges all trademarks. Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright D11336_0414