20th October 2021

OS Map & Hack Reflections

Millie Smith

Ordnance Survey (OS) held their first two-day virtual hackathon, OS Map & Hack, on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 October. The event bought developers, data scientists and coding enthusiasts as well as some Geovation startups together to create innovative ideas that overcome the challenges around the roll out of electric vehicles (EVs) and upscaling the infrastructure across Britain. OS provided on-demand access to all its premium OS data via the OS Data Hub, along with full support from their team of GIS specialists.

The hackathon focused on four key challenges:
• How to level up infrastructure planning for local government in remote communities?
• What is the demand for charge points of electric vehicle fleets and where do they need to be developed?
• How can geospatial data contribute to changing behaviours among non-EV owners?
• The open innovation challenge.


Judging the Hackathon

Contributions were evaluated by a panel of innovation and geospatial experts, who looked for the most innovative examples that made the best use of OS data and APIs. Head of Geovation, Carly Morris, was on the panel of experts. Carly said: “It is great to see the combined efforts of start-ups, private enterprise and the public sector, working together and to see what great things have come out of that. A particular highlight for a lot of the judges has been the creativity over the two days. It is an amazing breadth and variation we have seen. Of course, it has only been two days but there is potential for even more impact to come from these ideas and OS wants to work closely with them to help grow and develop these ideas through our Geovation community.”


Outcomes and Winners of the Hackathon
Many submissions for the Hackathon focused on the scaling of EV site planning and infrastructure, whilst others concentrated on EV routing and other apps that use technology to enhance the consumer experience.

The winning idea was an EV Charging Site Planner app created by Arcadis. They produced an EV Charging site planner app, designed with local authorities and private developers in mind. The app assesses potential charge point sites, then refines and characterises any search by pinpointing red, amber, and green dots on a map for best location.

Department for Transport’s advanced analytics division came 2nd place in the Hackathon. They created a routing app called Circuit Finder which calculates how long a journey will take for EV owners with different needs. Users put in their start point and destination for journeys, and the app finds the best route for them according to their preferences.


Paua Tech

Paua Tech, who are currently on our Accelerator Programme, wanted to understand the benefits of using geospatial data alongside their solution. Paua makes public electric vehicle charging simple with a mobile app enabling drivers to find, charge and pay for charging with one aggregated bill for the fleet manager. OS Map & Hack provided an opportunity for Paua to experiment using OS data alongside their propriety datasets.


The first OS hackathon was a great success for all involved and helped to contribute some fresh innovative ideas to tackle obstacles around the infrastructure planning and take-up of electric vehicles!


Want to find out more about the outcomes of the Hackathon? Visit the OS Map & Hack landing page here.