21st March 2013

Developing an idea to make difficult journeys easier

Viv Alexander

So what happens if you win funding from GeoVation to develop your idea?  We’ve just published case studies in which several of our GeoVation winners explain how they went about developing an idea. One of these, AccessAdvisr, is a Access Advisr collage platform that enables members of the public to improve the quality of information relating to the accessibility of transport stops and stations, as well as public places. It aims to make difficult journeys easier for people with limited mobility. The idea came from Neil Taylor, of Integrated Transport Planning Ltd (ITP), and was awarded funding in our ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge.

Insight from previous user-needs research conducted by ITP revealed that accessible transport networks and destinations remain ‘hidden’ from clear view. People with limited mobility must often piece together information about the location, quality and reliability of accessible transport networks and destinations from journey planners, online maps, discussion forums and destination websites. AccessAdvisr aims to be relevant to anyone who needs information about the accessibility of transport and places before and during their journey. It puts people who experience mobility impairments in charge of managing and maintaining accessibility information, so that it reflects ‘real-world’ user perspectives.

After securing funding, the key stages of the project were to review and broker existing data, recruit a team of
software developers, establish proof-of-concept software specifications and develop the software.  Find out more about how the project has progressed  by reading the case study.

‘The key benefits for us have been learning about the software development process and the challenges associated with creating accessible software tools. We have established technical partnerships and working relationships with software developers, which we’ve been able to draw on for other clients and projects. The project has also raised ITP’s profile and enabled us to gain recognition for the philosophically-focused nature of much of our transport planning and research work.’  Neil Taylor. ITP Ltd

If you’d like to find out more about our GeoVation winners see the case study map.

If you’re inspired by this idea and think you could be a GeoVation winner,  enter our latest GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance?’