12th January 2010

GeoVation Ventures Shortlisted


The GeoVation judges met last week and after a long deliberation have come up with the shortlist of entries to the 2010 GeoVation Awards Programme.

If you would like to attend the showcase on the 26th January 2010, where those on the shortlist will be able to pitch in person to the judges and winners chosen, then please register here:

We hope to see you there!

Those shortlisted are:

1) Mapland England & Wales

Mapland England and Wales is a massive map with full topographical detail. With a total size of  13m x 11m, it is the nations largest map of England and Wales.

Mapland is completely walkover – a hands-on and a feet-on map! You can wander around the coastline, stand on the highest peaks and even walk up the M1! It is printed with Ordnance Survey map data at the 1:50,000 scale. Mapland England and Wales creates an incredible learning environment and it is available for hire, complete with educational activities, to schools and other educational organisations. Mapland is a unique all school resource that appeals to any age group at primary and secondary schools. It is a highly memorable experience that brings Geography alive right in their school. It is also an excellent teaching resource for other subject areas such as History, Mathematics and English.

2) Online Route cards for hill walkers

Walkers and other outdoor people venturing into Britain’s wild places have long been advised to create a route card, detailing their intended route and return time, and to leave it with a responsible person. I want to bring this into the electronic age by creating a website which allows users to register details about them, their intended route, and estimated return time.

Tools would be provided to help plan appropriate routes for the user’s ability and current conditions. In the event of the user failing to check in after finishing their activity, automatic messages will be sent to a  designated emergency contact warning that the person has not be heard from, and instructing them what to do next. The details of the route and people attempting it can be then made available to the emergency services if the designated emergency contact wishes to report the user as missing.


Misson:Explore is a project to engage (young) people with geography through playful and thought provoking missions. Mission:Explore encourages people to explore new places in alternative ways and to see the world with a different view.

Our GeoVation is Mission:Explore London: an interactive map of location specific geolocated missions that can be navigated on mobile phones Apps. Each mission will be written by geography experts to be (reasonably) safe, fun and involve geography.

Led by The Geography Collective (a national partnership of geography teachers, academics, adventurers and artists), Mission:Explore London will be developed with the support of Sheffield-based interactive agency TheWorkshop and Can of Worms Enterprises, a London-based education and travel publisher.

With the help of GeoVation, Mission:Explore London will enthuse people with geography in a radically new way while tackling some critical issues of our time, not least challenging our increasingly risk averse culture.


Horse riders and carriage drivers are placed under increasing pressure from a developing motor network, often risking their lives on a daily basis by using or crossing busy roads.  Mapping Britain on Horseback is a British Horse Society initiative that aims to collate all equestrian routes in the UK.  The data, available on the Equine Mapping and Geographical Information Network (EMAGIN.org) website, will be invaluable for horse enthusiasts but will also help cyclists and walkers as many equestrian routes have multi-user status.  EMAGIN.org will greatly improve information dissemination and identify problematical geographical areas that can be targeted for new routes.  In addition, EMAGIN will hold location based information about local services for both horse and ridercarriage driver.  Our venture is unique as it will provide a single reference point for all things horsey from farriers to vets, where to stay, eat or to just simply enjoy a ridedrive in safety.

5) Goodfindr iPhone App

Goodfindr is a simple and exciting application which uses geography to to source soft commodities in season (ie foodstuffs) and alternative handcrafted goods from home or farm based businesses, and is accessible via mobile devices.

Goodfindr helps you locate goods and shows you where and how your purchases create the most socio-economic impact. By showing you exactly where you can create wealth in your community for a more durable future. Find and shop homemade, handmade, handcrafted, ethically sourced, homemade, made with love. Content through aggregation, monetisation through subscription model and affiliates. Simple, effective, powerful, and  scalable.

6) London Blue Plaque – Google Search including Map and Street views.

My idea is to develop and deploy an informative London Blue Plaque search facility website showcasing the hundreds of Blue Plaques erected over the years to commemorate famous people and places that have helped shape London and the World. These include plaques erected by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), London County Council (LCC), Greater London Council (GLC) and most recently English Heritage (EH). The prototype uses the Map, Street, Image, Video and Web Search Application Interfaces (APIs) provided free by Google.

You can view the prototype here… https://www.davidcoughlan.net/CV/ListSearch/BluePlaqueSearch.aspx

I have managed to map 131 of my favourite plaques so far and need further funding to complete the 800plus plaques that exist in London. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

7) Large format educational floor map

The primary purpose of the MaxiMap is to give pupils of all ages a working knowledge of the general geography of the British Isles allowing them to build up a framework of knowledge which will facilitate learning across the curriculum. Many schoolchildren are vague about the concept of scale of the constituent parts of the British Isles and the maxi map allows them to estimate through observation the size and scale of the constituent countries whilst provision of environmental information allows them to reach their own conclusions. The use of MaxiMap to deliver climatic concepts to geography classes allows pupils to construct their own weather fronts adjusting them as climatic criteria is introduced. Teachers of different subjects may find their own uses for the map the potential of which is infinite in terms of promoting pupil knowledge and general communication skills as well as enquiry, observation and deduction.

8 ) The Open Climate Data Repository

The Climate Change debate will affect everyone over the coming years as enormous resources are directed at measures to control carbon emissions and, potentially, to deal with its effects. Open debate on climate change is stifled by vested interests on all sides and accusations of biased, flawed or selective analysis. Given its importance, the public needs to trust climate data and be able to draw its own conclusions.

The recent Open Data initiatives launched by governments including the UK’s create an opportunity to gather climate data into a single Open Climate Data Repository. This service will provide a set of web-based tools that will allow the public to view, analyse and feed back on climate data.

Making raw data and the means to analyse it available in this way will increase public engagement in the Climate Change debate and may also lead to novel insights and unexpected conclusions.

9) Open.HistoryMap

A project to map historic features, events and maps against a background of today’s maps or aerial imagery.  Combining a mapping API such as Google Maps with a Simile Timeline which will act as a time navigation control as well as presenting map features and events as timelines. Other controls will include search, map type and historic map overlays, and the features, events, or datasets shown as timelines, icons, paths and shapes.

Hovering over or clicking a feature or event on the timeline or map will display information and optional links to images or wikipedia entries for example.

The project will be flexible and extensible, initial datasets will include historic map features, and old maps, following with demographics, genealogy… Anyone will be able to register, login, plot features/events on the map and add data. Compact online databases of locations, vectors and meta-data will have open APIs so external applications can add and retrieve and use data.