27th August 2010

The GeoVation challenge – ideas in action


Andy Berry, one of the winners of last years Geovation Ideas Challenge,  updates us on the progress with his idea of using “Openstreetmap for Local Authorities Gritting Routes”.

Gritting Routes Update

Since my original idea last year, the pressure to save money in public services has increased and any suggestions that can save money suddenly get a lot of interest from senior managers. Because of this, Wrexham County Borough Council is implementing my idea to use Sat Nav’s in all its gritters this winter. Cheshire East has also done some trials to see how the idea can help them.

Will it save money?

Training of staff for new routes is a costly business. By having the routes pre programmed into low cost Sat Nav’s with salt on and salt off alerts, savings can be made by reducing these training requirements. Experienced and new drivers are prompted to salt at the correct time, reducing the possibility of missed sections.

Why use OpenStreetMap?

Changes to the network can be made locally. e.g. car park and pedestrian streets can be added. New roads added as soon as they are opened. Major road closures and diversions implemented.

My other idea to use OpenStreetMap crowd sourced data such as motorcycle parking location is now up and running at www.dragontail.co.uk . Although not a winning entry the idea can be used for many other location based data.