Geovation Water Challenge winners announced
Well done to all the finalists who took part in the Water Challenge Geovation Camp held at Ordnance Survey over the weekend 4-6 March. The finalists had been selected as the best ideas entered to our Geovation Challenge to tackle problems associated with improving water use in Britain sustainably.
Over the weekend the 10 invited teams used the Innovation = Problem x Solution x Execution equation to develop their prototype venture, using design principles and focus on how they could build a sustainable business model to take their ideas forward.
The teams were supported by service designers and helpers from Ordnance Survey and the Geovation Hub, as well as expert help from those with domain and licensing knowledge and experience in business models.
On Sunday the teams delivered 5 minute pitches and the judging panel asked questions to dive deeper into their water ideas. The panel then selected the 3 to be offered extras support and funding through the Geovation Programme. The assembled audience of helpers and team members also voted for the team to receive a £1000 Community Award.
The team of Natalie Fee, Olivia Drake, Thomas Bell and Gus Hoyt will further establish Refill Bristol and aim to roll out nationwide with their app to pinpoint and endorse free tap water refill points at streets, cafes, retailers, hotels and businesses around the city. This is to reduce dependency on plastic bottled water, and change the public mind-set of using plastics that end up in our oceans. The app will capture data and reward and encourage behaviour change by allowing users to build points to exchange for money off vouchers, and gamification. Refillable Cities also won the Community Award of £1,000.
Minecraft map success leads to a virtual reality
The spectacular setting of Ben Nevis provides the backdrop for an Oculus Rift game created by Ordnance Survey developers, in which players race against the clock to find a hidden trig pillar.
The recreation of Britain’s highest mountain has been constructed by OS in 1:4 scale using OS data and covers an area of 10km x 10km. Britain’s mapping agency, with a 224-year history of collecting and using data in imaginative and useful ways, has today also released a virtual reality (VR) tour of the same rugged Ben Nevis mountains cape that is featured in OS’s Oculus Rift game. The virtual tour is available for both iOS and Android devices to be used with Google Cardboard.
Using OS Maps for active lifestyles
Ordnance Survey is known foremost for its maps, and many people using OS products (both within and without the organisation) have a keen interest in the outdoors. Particularly since our 2013 challenge, Geovation has taken an interest in ideas and innovations that encourage active lifestyles.
The winners of our Active Lifestyles challenge have found innovative ways to use OS data — the Medal Routes app encourages people to walk and helps them to find routes; Run An Empire is a strategy running game; Tagd allows users to create digital treasure and information trails; and OpenPlay works to connect people to nearby sports facilities.
To further facilitate outdoor exploration, OS has now produced off-road routing for all 15 of Britain’s National Parks in its OS Maps application. this allows people to plot routes along public footpaths and rights of way for walking, cycling and running. OS will also be introducing wheelchair-friendly routes, horse trails and difficulty ratings.
You can find out more about how to use the National Park routing here.
Pledge to #GetOutside with OS
Sign up for a Mapathon
On Tuesday 8 September we’ll be hosting the 2nd Mapathon, alongside the British Cartographic Society (BCS) and the Society of Cartographers (SoC).
The developer world has been using hackathons for a number of years to quickly create software for a common, often charitable purpose. The Mapathon adopts the same principles but, rather than software, our output will be high-quality cartographic products that reveal previously unseen patterns in the data, or maps the charity can use for marketing.
Working with data supplied by the Mammal Society, teams or individuals from the cartographic community are invited to gather together to share their ideas, skills and experience for the benefit of others. Each team has the chance to present their work to a panel of judges, who will review the projects and award prizes.
Book a slot for the OS OpenData developer masterclass
Earlier in the year, we shared news with you about the latest suite of OS OpenData products that are available through our download portal. The four new products in the portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. On Thursday 2 July, we’re running a free bite-sized masterclass where we’ll be taking a closer look at these products. We’ll be taking classmates on a journey, teaching them how to access, load, style and use the data in open source software – it’s sure to be a great session!
Take another look at Open Data viewer
When we talk about our range of OS Open Data products, it’s sometimes hard to visualise them from a set of words or descriptions and understand what these products can do for you. Maps and data are by their nature visual things that you have to see to appreciate them. An easy way to this is to visit the OS Open Data viewer site, showing a selection of our national datasets that can be zoomed and searched as you move around the map.
OS at Digital Shoreditch #ds15
The Digital Shoreditch event being held at Shoreditch Town Hall has been a great opportunity to showcase our innovations. As a founder partner, we have been involved with the festival for some time and are using it to help explain that there’s more to us than paper maps…
With a number of initiatives developed for the event, we had a good chance to talk to a new and varied audience.
Win weekend passes for Keswick Mountain Festival
We’re thrilled to be a partner at the Keswick Mountain Festival on 14-17 May. Taking place in the heart of the Lake District the packed programme includes speakers like Ray Mears and Alastair Bownlee, music from Mercury Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy and a host of guided activities including MTB biking, hiking, canoeing, navigation training, ghyll scrambling, climbing and so much more. There’s something for all the family with kids activities, food stall and exhibitors on site at Crow Park too.
New OS OpenData products now live
Great news this morning, our latest OS OpenData products are now available for download. Announced last month, the four new products in our open data portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. Bringing our OS OpenData offering up to sixteen products, the latest offer you increased detail and accuracy and the opportunity for analytics. They are fully customisable and can work together or be imported and integrated with your own software and database.
OS OpenData award at the British Cartographic Society
Ordnance Survey sponsors and judges one of the British Cartographic Society (BCS) awards and once again this year we will be rewarding cartographic excellence and the innovative use of OS OpenData. The awards are made annually at the society’s symposium which this year promises to be a fantastic event as it is being jointly hosted with the Society of Cartographers (SoC).
Your entry can take any form, the only stipulation being that it must contain some OS OpenData. Previous winners have included digital web maps, folded paper maps and we have also commended a beautiful hand-drawn map that was used as a film prop! We expect and encourage a real range of entries and we will be judging them using our cartographic design principles and also the innovative use of the data.
The award comprises a crystal trophy and a framed certificate both to be retained by the winner. We will also be offering a prize to the winner (yet to be confirmed) so make sure you get your entries in before the submission deadline, 30th April 2015.
GeoVation Camp as an OS helper
About a week back, in mid January, GeoVation held its eighth challenge at the Ordnance Survey Head Office, when nine teams arrived to develop and pitch their ideas.
As I’m a pretty recent addition to the GeoVation team, having started in November, all of my work focus has been on preparing for this event. It was great to see everything come together — with no real problems apart from the weather, which prevented one of the teams from making it to camp — and the atmosphere was very positive, energetic and idealistic, which is one of my favourite kinds of working environment. If there was any blood/sweat/tears involved in the run-up to camp (which I would never admit to) the weekend made up for all of it.