28th February 2012

Geovation 2012: we ‘Advisr’ you get involved!

Viv Alexander

Neil Taylor from Integrated Transport Planning Ltd was one of last year’s GeoVation winners with the idea, Access Advsr.  In this guest post he tells of their experience with GeoVation and why you should enter the ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge.

It was great to hear about the launch of the 2012 Geovation Challenge.  This is another excellent opportunity for people with innovative ideas about how open data can be used to transform neighbourhoods in a collaborative and inclusive way.

The idea we submitted for Access Advisr was one of 6 lucky recipients of Geovation funding from the 2011 challenge, which focused on ‘How can we improve transport in Britain’.  As well as tapping into funding which has enabled us to work on overcoming the technical challenges associated with making our web-application a reality, we gained access to fantastic mentoring support from the judging panel and University partners participating in the Ideas in Transit project.

Consequently we have been able to develop a highly interactive website that enables people to rate the accessibility of transport stops, stations and destinations; as well as sharing their experiences of travelling around by blogging and uploading photos and videos to the site.  We are on the cusp of starting our first round of user-testing with people from our hometown of Nottingham, and look forward to receiving their feedback so that we can continue to refine and improve the site.

Not only is it true to say that we would not be in this position were it not for the Geovation competition, but it also worth noting that we made some fantastic contacts through the process of the Geovation Camp and Dragon’s Den showcase.  As a result we now find ourselves working on transport crowd sourcing demonstration projects in the Philippines (on behalf of the World Bank) with several of the participants we met at the 2011 Geovation challenge.

Our experience of the 2011 Geovation Challenge continues to be hugely rewarding and we really recommend that you get stuck in and, if your idea gets shortlisted, be prepared to meet lots of interesting, and highly skilled people on the journey.  Good Luck!