Tag Archives: neighbourhoods

Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub

Last Thursday Ordnance Survey hosted Business in the Community’s (BITC) Southampton Hub network. The Southampton Hub, launched at Ordnance Survey in October 2012, encourages local businesses to support local communities through partnerships and collaboration.

The event included a tour around Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters and a review of the work and initiatives undertaken by the Hub since its launch just one year ago. The session was introduced by Mike Brophy, Development Director, London, South and South East and Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, for BITC, respectively, and chaired by Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair.

Elaine Owen, Schools Sector Manager, introduced the work of Ordnance Survey and Danny Hyam introduced the myriad ways in which Ordnance Survey products and services can be used to mitigate place related problems. The afternoon and evening programme included some inspiring presentations on partnerships between businesses and local schools through BITC’s Business Class programme. This included Wates’ work with Woodland Community College and Cobham’s work with St Aldhelm. Rosy Jones, Enterprise and Employability Manager at Southampton Solent University gave a brief background to the University’s vision for social justice and how engaging students with business can enhance their employability prospects.


GeoVation winner develops new app to report hate crime

Shout  crime home screenLast year we ran a GeoVation Challenge asking how we could transform neighbourhoods in Britain.  One of the GeoVation winners was Shout Crime – an idea for app to make it easier to report hate crime.   Below David Williamson of Development Keys tells us how this is progressing.

Hate crime is one area of the criminal justice system that, evidence shows, often goes unreported. Recognising the negative impact that hate crime can have on individuals and communities,  Ideal for All (IFA), an Independent Living Centre in Sandwell, decided to use its experience and resources to make a real difference. Drawing on the passion of one of its User Groups, a project was conceived to develop a new, flexible and accessible reporting system for hate crime. an application that would provide  a crime reporting mechanism for individuals and a visual analysis tool for communities and agencies alike. Recognising the strength of commitment and the technical integrity of the project, Ordnance Survey decided to back the concept and awarded IFA  £25,000 to develop the first application for both desktop and mobile technologies.

Building on the excitement of receiving the award, Ideal for All  set about the detailed definition of the project that is ‘Shout Crime’. Our newly formed Steering Team, including experts in the field of Information Technology, crime reporting and community engagement, was supplemented with specific skill sets around project management and the delivery of successful web enabled applications. An Invitation To Tender was issued toward the end of 2012 with an aggressive set of requirements for delivery of the Shout Crime application by the end of March 2013. The New Year saw the development contract awarded to BoilerHouse Media, Birmingham and the project was up and running.


Open data, big data, big changes

Today we have a great guest blog from GeoVation winner, Ed Dowding who tells us what Sustaination is aiming to achieve and how they will be doing this using gathering and using open data:

Imagine if there were a shop in which you knew that everything had been sustainably and fairly sourced.

If you picked up an apple, it would be from the nearest, most viable orchard; if you choose burgers, they would be locally produced from locally grazed cattle; and if it was February the tomatoes would be preserved ones – you’ll savour the anticipation of fresh ones when they’re back in season. In the meantime there’s winter stews to enjoy.

Wouldn’t it be great to shop there? I’d love to know that the money I spend isn’t creating hardship for a farmer – it’s generating livelihoods; it isn’t polluting the planet – it’s actually purifying water; it isn’t hindering future generations – it’s actively enriching the soil; and, in short, that we’re doing the very best we know that we can do.

That’s the vision we’re working towards, and that’s the vision GeoVation is helping us achieve.

So how do we do it?

We’re working on two complementary projects:

1) Foodtrade —  a business-to-business food trade network. It’s  really simple: if you’re a food business (of any size or type, from farm-to-fork) you tell us where you are and what you buy or sell. We’ll try match-make you with others near you. We also do a lot of other clever stuff, and we’ll be launching that soon.

2) I Want Better Food — a new type of campaign site where we help consumers and businesses work together to create a better food system.Image of the Website I want better food

The timing really couldn’t be better (unfortunately). The recent horse meat scandal has brought to mind, again, that we need to take more responsibility for our food.


Innovating with Community Payback Visibility

In this update, Jason Davies of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust, winners of our ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge explains how they’ve been developing and innovating with their app for Community Payback Visibility.

Designing the Service

If you had asked me a year ago what service design was, I would have struggled to guess the answer. In my ignorance, I photo of service design workshopthink I would have been quite sceptical. As we pitched our app idea at the GeoVation Challenge, we were introduced to the concept of service design and began to understand the benefits it would bring.

Wikipedia describes service design as “the activity of planning and organizing (sic) people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers.”

In other words, if you are planning to provide a service for people, make it relevant, make it useful, make it responsive, and make it friendly. And don’t think you can do all that without speaking to anyone. You don’t know it all and you will not have thought of everything. Test it, prototype it, talk to users, listen carefully to the feedback. All the time, you will be informing the design.

The principles sound obvious but it’s incredibly easy to find examples of appallingly badly designed services – where the very people expected to use the service are tearing their hair out at how difficult it is to use, how user-unfriendly it is. We want our app to be used and the experience to be positive, so people will use it again and recommend it. So we asked service designers, Sean and David of Nonon (who facilitated at GeoVation Camp) to help.


Happy Innovating in 2013

Happy new year from GeoVation. I hope you had an enjoyable festive break and start to the New Year.  I spent Christmas fairly quietly at home but after a great holiday in December visiting New York and Costa Rica, I was glad of a chance to catch up and get back out running. I’ve been taking part in my local free parkrun which  I think is a great example of an idea starting locally with a  simple solution (it started with just 13 runners in a London Park 13 years ago) that embraces the use of digital technology (website registration, bar codes, electronic timing, email and text results), includes the use of mapping data (the course, directions) and has been scaled up – parkruns are now held at 155 locations around the UK with an average of 134 runners at each event.

Photo taken in Cardiff - do you know where it is?

Photo taken when visiting Cardiff for the GeoVation Showcase. Do you know where it is and what it’s called?

In 2012,  GeoVation ran 2 GeoVation challenges. The first, focused on transforming neighbourhoods in Britain and second on  connecting visitors and communities to the new Wales Coast Path.  We had a great response to these challenges resulting in 9 new innovative ideas that we, together with our partners in the Wales Coast Path Challenge, were able to award funding to and which will help get these exciting ventures off the ground.

Helping to transform neighbourhoods, Community Payback Visibility is an app that will allow the local community in the Staffordshire and West Midlands to nominate sites for work to be carried out by offenders on community service and track the progress. Residents’ Green Space Mapper provides a tool for local residents to have a say in the future of open spaces in their area. Shout Crime will allow people to report hate crimes more easily and Sustaination are using social, local and mobile web technologies to make it cheaper and easier for food enterprises to connect and bring resilience to our food systems


Neighbourhood innovation winner passes it on

Last week  Global Entrepreneurship Week was based on a theme of ‘Pass it On’.  One of the entrepreneurs they featured was innovation winner, Ed Dowding, founder of  Sustaination who was awarded £25,000 in development funding from Ordnance Survey  in our ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain?’ GeoVation Challenge.

Ed is featured in a video, which you can watch below, passing on his ‘making the leap’ tips and talking about Sustaination, a food trade network that provides real time business information and uses web technologies to make it easier for food enterprises to connect up and trade from farm to fork.

Ed advises ‘Get going [with your idea] straight away, humanity has never faced a bigger series of challenges…  the opportunity, the ability to execute on an idea has never been greater… it’s too important to waste time’.

Sustaination was awarded funding at our GeoVation Showcase in June to develop a website and app that will use Ordnance Survey data products in the implementation of the idea, something we look forward to telling you more about on the blog as this takes shape.

Innovative phone app for Community Payback

Community Payback Visibility is a mobile app which will enable people to get involved in nominating sites for Community Payback in their neighbourhood. This innovative idea from Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust was awarded £41,000 in innovation funding   in our ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge.

Community Payback is unpaid work carried out by offenders on community service and the free mobile app will allow the public to easily nominate sites for Community Payback and  upload a photo so it can be quickly assessed by the Probation Service.  If it is suitable a work group will be sent out to carry out the work and a photo and feedback posted back on the site so people can see the effect. The app will raise awareness of Community Payback and participation in Community Payback projects.

The app is in development to be ready in spring 2013 but  the video below will give you an idea how  it should work.

Keep up to date with developments of the Community Payback Visibility app by visiting their blog or follow them on twitter @SWMCPvisibility .

Find out about our other GeoVation winners developing their ideas to transform neighbourhoods in Britain?

Putting our innovation winners on the map

In this post you can find out how many GeoVation Challenges we’ve run, how much innovation funding has been awarded, and where our GeoVation winners are on the map!

The GeoVation initiative was started by Ordnance Survey at the end of 2009 to encourage open innovation in addressing communities’ needs where geography is a key enabler.  Since then we’ve given innovation funding to 20 new ventures so they can develop their ideas.

To date we’ve run 5 GeoVation Challenges. We believe that for innovation to succeed it needs to have its foundations in a real problem worth solving and so, after our first ‘general’ GeoVation Challenge , we’ve themed our GeoVation Challenges. We’ve posed questions intended to generate social and environmental value from the ideas submitted, such as ‘How can Britain feed itself?’, ‘How can we transform our neighbourhoods?’ and ‘How can we improve transport in Britain?’ We’ve also run more location specific challenges, such as asking how we can connect communities and visitors along the new Wales Coast Path.

Over the course of these Challenges 1448 people have registered, 509 ideas have been submitted and 57 teams have attended 4 GeoVation Camps. Participants invited to the weekend GeoVation Camp benefit from being taken through a process that prepares them to be “Match fit to Pitch”  – able to describe their idea and the problem they are solving in a 2 minute ‘pecha kucha ‘style presentation


Submit your ideas for a better Coventry

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Following on from our ‘How can we transform Neighbourhoods in Britain together? Challenge this year, we thought you may be interested in another innovation challenge,  CityCamp Coventry, an event and challenge calling for ideas that answer the question, “How can we use digital technology to help make Coventry an even better place to live?”

There are only 12 days until the event, a 3-day city-based unconference and ideas fest to stir up and prototype ideas to make Coventry an even better place to live. The event will include a mix of speakers, attendee-led group discussions, and idea prototyping

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Image of CityCamp Coventry webpage


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Probation, Innovation & GeoVation

Today we have a really great post from Jason Davies of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust who won the ‘How can we transform Neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge with the idea for Community Payback Visibility.  Jason’s post is a great way to get a feel for what happens at a GeoVation Camp and the nail-biting climax of the GeoVation Showcase back in June:

Community Payback is unpaid work carried out by offenders on community service and the idea is for the public to nominate sites for Community Payback via an app and track the progress.  The government is currently undertaking a review of the probation service and is encouraging probation trusts to be innovative in responding to fundamental change.

image of Community Payback Visibility Team with certificate

It’s Wednesday afternoon, mid-June and we’re back in Southampton. It’s the final of the GeoVation Challenge. The judges have retired to their chambers. We’ve made our case and it’s out of our hands, but the nerves are jangling now.

This is the culmination of a Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust bid for some GeoVation funding. Ordnance Survey run the GeoVation Challenge with development funding awarded to the best and most innovative ways of combining maps and data to benefit local communities.


4 steps to win innovation funding for your idea

GeoVation is Ordnance Survey’s innovation initiative that helps communities address specific problems where geography forms part of the solution.

In our video below, we explain the GeoVation process and the steps to becoming a winner of innovation funding from GeoVation.

Find out about what happens at a Powwow and how we launch the GeoVation Challenge.

Hear from our shortlisted ideas about collaboration and what they gain from attending a GeoVation Camp.

Find out about the ‘Innovation = Problem x Solution x Execution’ formula.

See the winners awarded funding at a GeoVation Showcase and listen to what they thought of being part of GeoVation.


Four winners for GeoVation Neighbourhood Challenge

Well done to everyone who took part in the Transforming Neighbourhoods GeoVation Showcase yesterday at Ordnance Survey’s head office.Transforming Neighbourhoods image

After an exciting day of pitching and presentations from 10 excellent ideas teams, the judging panel selected 4 winners from the ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Challenge to be awarded a share of £115,000 in seed funding and the audience voted for their favourite idea to win the  £1,000 community prize.

Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust were awarded the top prize of £40,000 in development funding to take forward their idea Community Payback Visibility. They also won the Community Award of £1 000.

Community Payback is unpaid work carried out by offenders on community service and the idea is for the public to nominate sites to Community Payback and track progress on a website.

Three others winners were awarded £25,000 to take their ideas forward. They are:

Residents’ Green Space Mapper  from Groundwork.  A tool for for local residents to survey open spaces in their area in collaboration with their housing association and have a say in improving its use.

Shout Crime from Ideal for All – a hate crime reporting smartphone App and social plugins – making it easier for people to report these crimes.

Sustaination  which will use social, local and mobile web technologies to make it cheaper and easier for food enterprises to connect, bringing resilience to our food systems and prosperity to our high streets.

See the video of our winners below

We will be posting some photos from the Showcase soon too!

Next stop for GeoVation is the Wales Coast Path GeoVation Camp this weekend in Cardiff.  You can find out more about the shortlisted ideas coming to Camp here.