31st January 2013

Snow time to stop innovating

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While much of the country has been dealing with snow in the last few weeks, there’s been no rest for Luke and Ian, who manage Ordnance Survey’s Developer Engagement programme. They ran their first GeoSurgery of 2013 on 17 January at the Google Campus in London and the event was a major success, with some extremely interesting conversations being had with over a dozen developers. The idea to run a quarterly GeoSurgery, an event that provides us with a physical presence in London’s Tech City, came about from the sheer level of interest received in Ordnance Survey’s product and service offering that we have gauged amongst the developer community. Ian – also known as Ordnance Survey’s resident “GeoDoctor” – was on hand to speak to a number of developers that had technical questions relating to the use of location-based data in their respective business offerings. We introduced developers to our portfolio of OS OpenData products, which include the frequently downloaded: OS Streetview; CodePoint Open and Boundary Line – to name just a few.

We’re now in the midst of organising our next OS Developer event, which takes place on 26 February, again in London. This time we’re at the HUB in Westminster, London to hold an evening dedicated to showing existing and potential developers through OS OpenSpace, which is Ordnance Survey’s web mapping service. Specifically, we’ll be showcasing the recent enhancements that we have made to the API, so if you would like to register an interest in coming along, please drop us a line and we’ll add you to the register.

City Farmers Map of Delegates at Oxford Real Farming Conference

City Farmers map delegates at Oxford Real Farming Conference

In early January Chris participated in the Oxford Real Farming Conference where GeoVation food challenge innovators, City Farmers displayed some great maps using OS OpenData showing who is doing what and where.  Some excellent presentations on how collaboration is building resilience in food chains through local food and farming.

It was good to catch-up on GeoVation Neighbourhood challenge winner, Sustaination, who spoke on the role of (spatial) technology in helping to build resilience into local farm to fork food chains. There were some great projects using mapping as part of collaborative food and farming projects – real innovation comes from the edges!

Throughout January, Chris and Viv have been developing and planning for the next challenge launch, building on the feedback our community have provided.  Viv has been continuing work on our GeoVation booklet and case studies of our winners, showing how they are innovating.

Image of snowman

Scare-fox – keep your chickens safe in the snow! Some self-assembly required.

We have been receiving some really exciting proposals and we are busy seeing how GeoVation might be able to help with them.

Meanwhile back in the Parker household 6 new chickens take our tally to 10 but footprints in the snow indicate a fox is taking great interest in them too. Chris is back on his bike and has started running. He was pleased to keep up with Ian (in training for London Marathon) on one of his runs, well OK, for the last mile only! Luke enjoyed a Christmas break (which feels like an age ago now!) visiting his girlfriend’s family in Switzerland and getting out on the mountains for a few days’ snowboarding, with fresh snow on New Year’s Day making it even more enjoyable!  And Viv, preferring sun to snow, is off to Portugal in early February for a few days.