Tag Archives: challenge

Geovation Challenge: National Workshops

‘How can we better manage underground assets in Britain?’

We’re looking to solve problems with underground asset management in Britain: innovation for better asset mapping, maintenance, management of stakeholder impacts, and predicting asset future. These identified problem areas which cause utility companies sleepless nights can be lucrative business opportunities, and we are inviting GeoTech entrepreneurs to take advantage and win support and funding for their ideas.

We’ve teamed up with leading innovation agency, Nonon, and business and service design experts from London College of Communication for a series of national Geovation Challenge Workshops. Kicking off the national tour at the Urban Innovation Centre in London, we’re traveling the UK looking for innovative solutions to how we can better manage our underground assets and to ensure that you walk away with the knowledge to build your idea from start to finish. 

What will you do at the workshop?

Intro: How the workshop will run, who’s in the room / networking session

Problem: Introduction to the Underground Assets Challenge. Talking key problem areas with Geovation Challenge Manager, Dr. Chris Parker / Sharing your ideas with us

Solution: Prototyping your solution using UX methodology to make a good service with Service Design Expert at London College of Communication, Alison Prendiville

Execution: How to turn your idea into a scalable and sustainable business venture using lean business model methodology with Ecological Design Consultant, Kevin Mascarenas

Showcase: Showing you real examples of Geo-Tech products our developer team helped build from start to finish

Takeaway session: Are you confident enough to enter the Challenge? Giving you all the benefits of entering and more



26 October – LONDON – Geovation Hub, EC1R 0BE

15 November – MANCHESTER – Manchester Digital Laboratory, M4 1HN

16 November – NEWPORT – Innovation Point, NP20 4NW

18 November – GLASGOW – Tontine G1 5NA

Register for a workshop.

“Design is not just how it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”- Steve Jobs 

“Service Design is the shaping of service experiences so that they really work for people. Removing the lumps and bumps that make them frustrating, and then adding some magic to make them compelling”- Chief Design Officer, Design Council


Services make up almost 80% of UK’s GDP. Design-led companies who provide excellent customer experience outperform the S&P 500 by 43%. 

Keep updated with the Challenge timetable: Twitter  / LinkedIn

Cycling innovators and the chance to win a fat bike

Bike Week — the biggest nationwide cycling event in the UK — is coming up on 13-21 June.

Bike Week

The first Bike Week took place in the UK in 1923 — some 40 years after the potentially lethal penny-farthing had been replaced by the safety bicycle — and was started by the Cyclists’ Touring Club. It has since been replicated in Ireland, Canada and the US. In the UK, it takes place annually on the third week of June. It encourages ‘everyday cycling for everyone’ and aims to promote the benefits of cycling to the environment, society, and individuals’ health. The 2015 event has a particular focus on cycling to work.

In 2014, almost half a million cyclists took part in over 1000 events nationwide. This year’s event is in June, but there are hundreds of events taking place throughout the rest of the year. You can find out what events are happening in your area at www.bikeweek.org.uk, along with your nearest bike shops!

In the Geovation team we take a keen interest in events and innovations that promote active lifestyles. Following our 2013 Active Lifestyles Challenge, four GeoVation winners are developing ventures to enable people to be more active, whether through walking, running, or other sports and activities.

In our 2010 Transport Challenge we encouraged ideas which considered more sustainable forms of transport (including cycling). Two of the winning ideas from the latter challenge, Cyclescape and the London Cycle Map Campaign, focused on improving cycling.

Greater London Cycle Map

Greater London Cycle Map


More news on housing ideas selected at GeoVation Camp

If you’ve been following the GeoVation blog you’ll be aware that we recently announced the successful finalists from our GeoVation Challenge aimed at finding ideas enable people in Britain to live in better places.

Following on from this the Judging Panel met yesterday to confirm the winners and level of funding to be awarded.

GeoVation camp

The finalists had submitted venture plans to be reviewed at the meeting and the judges had a difficult decision in deciding how to split the £101,000 awarded by Ordnance Survey and Land Registry.

They agreed to award funding to the ideas as follows:

Today the neighbourhood tomorrow the world! – Run An Empire

Run An Empire Home page

Today’s guest Blog is by Sam Hill, of Run An Empire, winners of the How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? Challenge. The Hoxton based, PAN Studio were awarded £26,000 to develop their idea. Run an Empire is an exercise strategy game on a smart phone app, which uses GPS with Ordnance Survey data to record paths players take and allow people to compete to capture and maintain control of as much territory as possible, using neighbourhoods as arenas for play. The more times people run or walk around their neighbourhood the more secure they can make it against ‘invasion’.


Medal Routes mobile app going for gold!

medal routes

The Commonwealth Games this summer proved a massive success for Glasgow, Scotland and indeed for all of Great Britain. Since it was announced back in 2007 that Glasgow would play host to the 20th Games, the Scottish Government has been working to create a lasting legacy from the Games which will encourage more people across the country both to be inspired by sport and to build more physical activity into their daily lives.

Medal Routes LogoIn 2011 Ramblers Scotland introduced their Medal Routes project inspired by this legacy programme. The project encourages local communities to identify three short walking routes in the local area that start and finish from one central location. Each route has a designated medal assigned to it: Bronze (approx. 15 mins walk), Silver (approx. 30 mins walk) and Gold (approx. 60 mins walk). The project is a stepping stone to fitness.


Today’s GeoVation Housing Challenge workshop

If you missed our GeoVation Housing Challenge launch event yesterday, today there is the opportunity to join us in our free Housing Challenge workshop at the Building Center, London.

The free workshop starts at 2 pm – 5 pm. You will get to hear from expert speakers about the problems that fall into our Challenge themes, we will be looking for innovative ideas that address these problems using Ordnance Survey and Land Registry  data, products or services, technology and good design.

GeoVation, Land Registry and Ordnance Survey Logos

Chris Parker, Head of GeoVation, Ordnance Survey will give a brief introduction to GeoVation and the theme of our Challenge this year ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ he will then introduce our three speakers for the Workshop:

David Waterhouse – Head of Strategy for Cabe at the Design Council

Alastair Parvin – Co Founder of the WikiHouse

Jim Vine – Director of Innovation HACT

Each of our speakers will give a 15-minute presentation with a brief Q&A session after.


GeoVation Housing Challenge Launch Event


GeoVation, Land Registry and Ordnance Survey Logos

Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation challenges encourage the use of open data, other data and existing products and services in the development of new ventures that generate social, economic and environmental value.

Ordnance Survey and Land Registry are pleased to announce the launch of  the latest GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ in which we’re offering a slice of £101,000 in funding to develop the best ideas submitted.

The GeoVation Housing Challenge is being officially launched within the WikiHouse at The Building Centre during the London Design Festival. The WikiHouse is a 
low-energy house that anyone can download, adapt, ‘print’ and assemble in a few days, with no construction skills, for less than £50,000. The Building Centre is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to advancing innovation in the built environment.

GoVAtion Challenge 8 LogoOn Monday 15 September 2014 we will be holding our launch event (register). Chris Parker will give a short introduction about GeoVation and then introduce our guest speakers:

Finn Williams – Founder of Common Office

Andrew Van Doorn – Deputy Chief Executive, HACT

John Carpenter – Director of Planning and Strategy, Ordnance Survey

Lynne Nicholson – Senior Product Manager, Land Registry (more…)

Mapsum: walking a path from recreation to retail

Today’s guest blog post is from Chris McCormack and Alex Davies-Moore of Wimborne based company Mapsum, winners of our GeoVation Challenge  “How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?”. Mapsum won £26,000 to develop their idea Tagd, a service that allows anyone or any group to create, share and discover custom interactive routes that contain personalised, targeted media messages at waypoints along the routes.  The system will work with existing networks,  such as cycling clubs, local interest groups  and geocachers to get more people involved in physical activity and to discover the outdoors.


Mapsum logo


Our ambitions were small before we started on this journey with Ordnance Survey.

We entered the GeoVation contest hoping to build an app to keep kids amused while on long walks. A family could create their own trail from a computer and set virtual geocaches for the kids to find when they were out on the walk – and these digital geocaches (or treasure) would be tailored by Mum and Dad so they chimed with the kids. So a boy who liked Batman, would get Batman themed questions, quizzes or pictures as he used a mobile to follow the trail created by his parents. Neat, simple, and targeted at families who want to stop the kids getting bored on walks.

But when we worked with the GeoVation team, it was made clear that our app, while interesting, wouldn’t make a dent on the huge problem of inactivity and obesity in Britain…and the Ordnance Survey wanted us to make a dent. (more…)

GeoVation winners OpenPlay launch new site

OpenPlay is a web and mobile platform designed to connect sports facilities to the public. It takes away the hassle of finding and booking sports facilities and activities with a focus on parks, open spaces and schools. Examples include tennis courts, football pitches, multi-use games areas and sports halls.

OpenPlay Mobile screenIt was born out of frustration whilst trying to source football pitches for an U15 team in South London. I found the experience to be a complete nightmare with endless fruitless phone calls and a lack of transparency over pricing and condition of facilities on offer. I met my business partner who also shared the same frustrations and we launched the original OpenPlay platform in February 2013. We lived off cereal and a startup loan for over a year until we heard about the Geovation programme.

From running OpenPlay, we began to realise that we could also use the platform to help tackle the physical inactivity crisis which is sweeping the nation. Parks and schools are massive areas for physical activities, yet little is (more…)

GeoVation at the RGS International Conference

We’re pleased to announce that Chris Parker from our GeoVation team, along with past GeoVation Challenge judges, will be taking part in the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual International Conference next week.

Chris is chairing a session on Wednesday 27 August on Innovation and coastal tourism (1) The Wales Coast Path: Promoting health and economic wellbeing. Our GeoVation Challenge in early 2012 looked at how people who lived and worked along, or visited the 870 mile (1,400 km) coastal path could use innovative digital technology to  benefit from the ‘world first’ opportunity. Wales was the first country in the world to launch a complete perimeter coastal path on 5th May 2012. The Wales Coast Path has already generated an additional £32 million in revenue (BBC News, 26 November 2013).


OS Innovation Newsletter – Summer edition

By now you should have received our summer edition of OS innovation newsletter, with of exciting news for the GeoVation and developer community – including news of our new GeoVation Challenge, a call for your Minecraft maps, an up date on our developer challenge winners and find out how you can step up to the challenge with Daniel Raven-Ellison.

Newsletter screen grab (more…)

GeoVation winner Medal Routes launches app

Medal Routes LogoRamblers Scotland one of our most recent GeoVation Challenge winners has steamed ahead since receiving the £28,000 in funding from the ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain Challenge to develop Medal Routes App.

Rob Burns and Jeannie Cranfield submitted the idea to develop a mobile app to add to the existing Medal Routes website. Medal Routes already uses Ordnance Survey data to map three short (15, 30 and 60 minute) circular walks from identified walking hubs to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. Printed tear-off maps and A5 leaflets are available at each hub and also online.