11th March 2014

Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge attracts dozens of innovative ideas!

Luke Hampson

Since launching Ordnance Survey’s maiden Developer Challenge at the tail-end of 2013, we’ve been busy promoting the competition to all of you budding developers out there! We’re delighted to announce that in total, we received 38 ideas, with the competition now closed for entries.  A further stage of the selection process will now take before we announce the winners next month.

ordnance survey developer challenge graphic

We were looking for GI-based ideas to solve business problems and we received ideas ranging from transport and planning solutions, intended to bring cost savings to public transport operators; through to mobile applications that could be designed to allow retailers to target advertisements for their products, services and promotions more effectively, based on the current location and buying habits of potential customers.

Other submissions, included: apps that could be built to tackle problems faced by businesses relating to flooding; web portals designed to complement and bring business savings to the current planning application process; and simulators based on the actual topography and road network of London – allowing businesses to train their workforce to navigate the nation’s capital city more effectively, without even stepping foot out the door!

From the 38 applicants, a shortlist of eight have been invited to a presentation day, taking place in London. Here, they will pitch their ideas to a highly-esteemed judging panel – more details coming soon on the blog. Up to four winners will be selected and presented with the prize that includes office space at TechHub; a tailored mentorship programme designed to provide the businesses with legal advice, sales and marketing support, product expertise and advice on future funding options etc. and publicity  – to name just a few.

tech hub logo

Ordnance Survey is partnering with TechHub to deliver the Developer Challenge

Winners will have access to; and support in using, Ordnance Survey products and services throughout the challenge, allowing them to enhance their business idea with the most accurate, highly detailed and up-to-date geographic datasets available for Great Britain.

We’ll share more news with you about the presentation day and successful finalists in due course.

You may have read our previous blogs, received our Innovation newsletter, seen a press article or simply picked up on a tweet via our Twitter handle @ordnancesurvey about the challenge. If you didn’t, here’s a bit of background for you.

Launching the competition in December 2013, we opened an eight-week period, where developers were encouraged to submit their business ideas for a product, service or application; which they considered to be innovative, profitable and/or bring cost savings to business in Great Britain. We believe there are many business opportunities for developers to make use of Ordnance Survey products and services, so we challenged them to submit concepts about how they could unlock the potential by using geospatial information.

We asked for applicants to clearly highlight a well identified problem or opportunity that exists in business and tell us why they believed their idea was creative, innovative and commercially viable. Importantly, entrants needed to clearly explain how their idea would use Ordnance Survey products and services.

We think you’ll agree, the brief was quite open – and it certainly allowed for a great deal of flexibility and creativity to be displayed through the entries we received.