24th May 2010

A day out at Ordnance Survey


On 12 May, some of our GeoVation Ideas Challenge winners visited Ordnance Survey as part of their prize. It was a packed day, during which we gained some valuable feedback on how we could help the GeoVation community develop their ideas.

We will be posting stories from the winners here on the blog, the first — from Andy Berry, whose idea is Using Openstreetmap for local authority gritting routes — is below …

Following a recent visit to Ordnance Survey in Southampton as part of the GeoVation Ideas Challenge, I was interested in why Ordnance Survey are getting so involved in this project, without any obvious direct financial benefit.

Well a quick word with Peter ter Haar (Director of Products) clarified it for me.IMG_0427

The mission statement for Geovation is “To encourage and support innovation for social, economic and environmental benefit through the use of geography”.  Ordnance Survey have numerous channels already for communicating with their existing major customers. They know what these customers do and what they want from their products.

However, there is a developing market of individuals and small companies who do not have access to these communication channels. With the ability to develop ideas quickly and cheaply, it is important to Ordnance Survey and the other sponsors to understand how they can help move this sector of the market forward.

GeoVation not only brings together like-minded people to help each other but provides feedback to Ordnance Survey on what this emerging market needs.

IMG_0468As part of the day in Southampton, a number of proposals were put forward; let’s hope Peter and Vanessa act on them.

Andy Berry