27th November 2013

Data sources to help get Britain active

Viv Alexander

image of skateboarderThe latest GeoVation Challenge calling for ideas to encourage active lifestyles in Britain is now well underway and we have started to see some great ideas submitted already.

As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.

Some of the ideas submitted so far include FitSift, an exercise search engine designed to encourage users into exercise and then maintain their interest. It will provide motivation by using location data to provide a set of exercise options that are available right now or when the user is ready.

Another idea, Invisible Footpaths, is a location game where a map  using Ordnance Survey data displays all footpath/bridleway data in a bold colour. If no one walks the paths the colour starts to fade and die but ‘players’ can keep footpaths alive by  walking a path which restores its health/colour and earn badges for paths saved.

What about an Automatic Activity Heatmap? Using a mobile phone app to automatically register outdoor activity and upload it to an on-line Ordnance Survey  map of the UK,  hotspots develop where more activity is occurring. The app will have additional features to engage with the user to gain  more information about the nature of the activity. As a result, the hot spots can be used to further promote local activity, get better statistical information, and allow local areas to compete for prominence on the map.

Take a look at  the ideas submitted  and please encourage them by commenting or rating.Click here to enter the Active Lifestyles GeoVation Challenge

To help to these and other ideas find relevant data to provide facts, statistics and data sets to build ideas to help get Britain active we have put together this Data Sources web page. We’ve added lots of new links to data and reports to help specifically with this GeoVation Challenge, such as data from Public Health England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.  So please check it out and see if it helps, and if you have any other good data sources you’d like to share then please let us know.

If you have an idea that could encourage people to get active, have a look at some of the problems we identified and  enter the GeoVation Challenge online . The challenge runs to 8 January 2014 and the best ideas will be selected to receive a share of £100, 000 in funding to develop their business ventures.