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 . Although not a winning entry the idea can be used for many other location based data.

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  1. With the spending review of public services, all public authorities are desperate to find ways of saving money.
    The recent study published on the LGA website to assess the value of GI looks at how some new ideas have helped reduce public expenditure. But we need help from the community to find new and innovative ways of using GI to make further savings. The Pubic Sector Mapping Agreement to be implemented in April 2011 will help, but what’s the best way to utilise this new ability to share data?
    I would like to see one of the Geovation Challenges to be “How can GI be used to make the public sector more efficient”

  2. Been doing this for a few years now. !!
    To get real savings it needs to be taken a step further into what is widely known as GPS spreading controls are changed automatically by the gps knowing exactly where it is on the network. On a normal route of say 40 miles the operator will need to make in excess of 300 changes to the control box the most efficient route settings were being followed; consequently the correct settings for the entire route are very rarely followed, meaning a massive waste of salt.Drivers likely to spread at maximum settings (width) instead of what should be average settings.

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