GeoVation and Open Cities

Posted on 02/21/2012 by

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Last week, Greg Hadfield introduced the Open Data Cities conference, and explained the thinking behind it. Now, I’d like to point out some of the great things happening with geographic data that tie in with the conference’s theme. This Year’s Geovation Challenge from the Ordnance Survey is up and running, and Greg has written about the importance of geographic data for cities over on their blog. The current challenge will have been completed before April’s conference, so this is the time to consider your location-based apps.

This year’s challenge asks: ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?

As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas that address the identified problems using geography, technology and design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £115,000 in development funding for best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace.

The challenge runs to 28 March and the best ideas will be invited to a weekend GeoVation Camp in Southampton from18 – 20 May 2012. The finalists from this camp will be invited to a GeoVation Showcase on 20 June 2012 to pitch for a share of the funding.

It sounds like a solid, wide-ranging challenge with plenty of room for different perspectives on improving neighbourhoods, and I’m looking forward to reading up on the challengers later this spring. Previous winners—full list here—have tackled problems ranging from exploring history and sourcing ethical food, through to planning cycling journeys and fixing the streets.

These projects resonate strongly with Kasabi, because so many applications feed on geographic data. As an example, John Goodwin has used our platform for a range of datasets from Ordnance Survey (interviewed here on the blog), and has created a series of data mash-ups for specific locations.

If you have answers to this year’s question, you really should consider entering the GeoVation challenge, and also coming along to chat with us and the OS in April. Ordnance Survey’s Ian Holt will also be speaking at the conference. If you’d like to share your ideas, or get some help using Kasabi, email me or leave a comment below.

Kasabi is sponsoring the Open Data Cities Conference, which will be in Brighton on 20 April, and tickets cost £149—or £100 if you order before 1 March.

Image: “Compass” by Roland Urbanek via flickr CC: by 2,0