GeoVation – an online initiative supported by mapping agency Ordnance Survey – aims to help individuals, businesses and communities bring their map‑based ideas to life. The Awards Programme, launched in October 2009, has attracted over 300 members and generated more than 220 ideas or ventures.
Eight of those ideas have now been shortlisted by the judging panel, which includes Yahoo’s Gary Gale and Steve Coast of OpenStreetMap, and they will have the chance to win part of a £21,000 development fund at a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style event on 26 January at the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Steven Feldman, GeoVation Champion, comments: “We created GeoVation to encourage worthwhile, exciting and innovative uses of geography, and I believe the finalists all meet those criteria. Our judges had a very difficult time selecting the shortlist simply because of the high quality of the entries, which is a testament to everyone that has taken part.”
One of the shortlisted entries, Mapland, is seeking support for its huge 13 m by 11 m floor map of England and Wales to support the teaching of geography in schools. Another entry, entitled Misson:Explore London, aims to create a mobile phone application to engage young people in a series of playful and thought-provoking missions. The creators see it as a way of challenging what they call an “increasingly risk averse culture.”
Feldman adds: “The range of entries is excellent, from helping to support education to the Open Climate Data Repository, which wants to help the public to understand and analyse climate data.”
All the shortlisted entries will each be given the chance to convince the judges that their ideas deserves a slice of the prize fund, with £10,000 available for first place and two prizes of £5,000 for runners-up. The audience on the day will also have the chance to vote for their favourite idea in a ‘Community Choice’ award, with £1,000 up for grabs.
A full list of the shortlisted GeoVation ideas is available here: www.geovation.org.uk/geovation-ventures-shortlisted/
The GeoVation Showcase is being held at the Royal Geographical Society on 26 January. To attend, register for free at http://geovation.eventbrite.com/
GeoVation will be donating £10 to emergency mapping charity MapAction for each registered delegate who attends the showcase.