27th October 2011

Want to develop tools to help people help each other and improve local neighbourhoods?

Chris Parker

Kent Connects are running two challenges which have called for radically simple and useful ideas to “Report local issues” and to “Help people help each other in their neighbourhoods”. Supported by the Cabinet Office, these have been the first ever local government challenges launched on the DotGovLabs Innovation Hub platform.

GeoVation is supporting the second of these challenges, and as members of the judging panel, it has been a very hard task to select a winning idea amongst a number of fascinating entries. However, after careful consideration the GeoVation team selected Sunshine Bank as the challenge winners – congratulations!. This exciting idea not only delivers a valuable service to local communities but actively encourages volunteer participation through a fun and engaging recognition scheme. We are looking forward to working with Sunshine Bank to build on their concept and to explore how the idea can benefit from using mapping data from OS OpenData.

With the best ideas now selected Kent Connects, is keen to stimulate collaboration between civil society and the digital sector, and are now launching a call to all designers and software developers to put forward prototypes on both of the challenges. Participating designers and developers will be able to design and develop at Kent Connects all day event on 25th November in Gravesend.

Sign up for this event here and find out more by visiting the competition website

As well as coming up with prototypes on the two challenges Kent Connects are looking to stimulate the use of open data and visualisation.

Kent Connects state: “There are amazing opportunities for open data to be used. We know that open data is a very new area for the public. Most people will never have heard of open data, let alone used it to create visualisations. Others however may have used tools to turn data into new web applications. Similarly, visualisations are very powerful at capturing people’s imagination and getting them to reflect on what particular issues mean to them. Developers and designers will be encouraged to put forward prototypes using these techniques in a bid to win the prize for the best two prototypes at our Developing Solutions event sponsored by Kent Connects, GeoVation, Kent Connects and Lagan”.

GeoVation is looking forward to the event and has put up a £1000 fund to award to the prototype that makes best use of OS OpenData and/or OS OpenSpace in “Helping people help each other in their neighbourhoods”.