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INNOVATION UK53 GeoVation ORDNANCE SURVEY With the death of distance, never before has geography been more important. But, up until now, it has remained largely at the disposal of Geographic Information pro-fessionals and those who speak JavaScript. You also don't need to look very far afield to see that our society today faces some unprecedented challenges. From the rapidly changing economy and the global issues of sus-tainability and climate change to the domestic problems of health inequality, alienated communities and social engagement. Responding to these challenges requires a level of local and global collaboration, between individu-als, communities, businesses and government that has never been achieved before. It also needs great ideas, which is exactly what GeoVation is about. GeoVation's mission is to encourage and support inno-vation for social, economic and environmental benefit through the use of geography. Since " everything happens somewhere" and geography is the stage on which every human and natural action is played out, there is huge potential in using geography to help address these and other challenges. The GeoVation website, https:// challenge. geovation. org. uk, is an online portal where geography, geographic information and innovative people, like you, can come together to make great ideas a reality. Our aim is to bring together people with ideas with those who have the technical know- how and financial backing to make those ideas flourish and, in turn, drive the use of geographic information. GeoVation is open to all, for the benefit of all, and there is only one rule: that the ideas use geography. The GeoVation Chalenge Over the last few months we've spoken to many people about the idea behind GeoVation, including at The Guard-ian's Activate 09 conference, the government's Adapting to Climate Change for Critical Infrastructure Summit and OpenStreetMap's State of the Map Conference, getting feedback on the concept, as well as seeking early par-ticipants and speaking to other organisations that might want to get involved. This work culminated on 20 July, when the GeoVation Challenge element of the community was opened with a breakfast and evening drinks events hosted at the Royal Society of Arts in London. A lively and enthusiastic dis-cussion ensued with participants drawn from Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AGI, consultants, businesses, social entrepreneurs, universities, education and community movements. Over 50 ideas were generated on that day alone, so we're excited about what you and the wider GI community will be able to come up with. Through the Challenge website, you can meet other geovators and suggest, share and rate ideas and ask for and provide help to others developing ideas too. You're free to make use of any technology or data that you can get hold of. You only need to see the popularity of location- based applications on Apple's App Store, not to mention the fact that satnavs are now relied on by millions of driv-ers across the world, to know that geography has gone mainstream. After a few false dawns the technology has finally caught up with our aspiration and location- based information is now embedded in our daily lives. The excit-ing thing about the GeoVation Challenge is that it might just unearth " the next big thing". That's not to say that smaller- scale ideas aren't welcomed too. The most strik-ing thing about the Cabinet Office's competition " Show us a better way" was that many of the winning entries were map based and focused on community issues - find-ing your nearest toilet, helping locate a recycling centre. Add to that the popularity of sites like FixMyStreet and Liftshare and it's clear that possibilities are huge and var-ied. And the GeoVation Challenge is not just about trying to tackle serious issues with geography; it's about having fun with geography too. One participant wants help tak-ing aerial photographs using a digital camera strapped to a home- made rocket! Ordnance Survey and GeoVation In April this year a new Business Strategy for Ordnance Survey was published. Part of the strategy's goal is to pro-mote innovation for economic benefit and social engage-ment and to encourage individuals, community groups and commercial companies to innovate with geography. Supporting the GeoVation initiative is just one of the ways Ordnance Survey plans to do this. Ordnance Survey has initiated and is supporting GeoVa-tion, and is also contributing to an ideas development GeoVation Encouraging and supporting innovation for social, economic and environmental benefit through the use of geography

INNOVATION UK54INNOVATION UKGeoVation ORDNANCE SURVEY fund that will go to support the very best ideas, but makes no claim on the intellectual property and is keen to engage supporting partners in growing the initiative. So if you'd like to be involved, please get in touch. In addition, to provide some external perspective and guid-ance, we've recruited two GeoVation Champions - Steven Feldman, an expert consultant on the innovative use of Geographic Information, and Stew McTavish, the Chief Executive of mo. jo who has recently worked with Cancer Research UK on its own open innovation challenge. Looking forward GeoVation is on a very exciting journey for all those who use or could use geography more effectively in meeting their own objectives. If you want to contribute ideas, appli-cations and data; collaborate with others to solve prob-lems and create new and exciting solutions using geog-raphy; then you'll be very welcome to join us for the ride. Join the GeoVation Challenge at: www. challenge. geovation. org. uk or follow us on Twitter at http:// twitter. com/ geovation TOP LEFT: Stew McTavish, Chief Executive of mo. jo BOTTOM LEFT: Liz Ratcliffe, Head of Product Marketing and Propositions Comment from Steven Feldman Geography can make a difference to our lives in so many ways, from the tiny but convenient enhance-ment to the planet- saving development or insight. Almost everyone has an idea for using geography when asked, creativity in the use of geography should not be the sole province of the " experts" and the tech-nically skilled. Hopefully, through GeoVation we can help some ideas from the wider community to flourish and perhaps contribute to the creation of some new geo- businesses. Comment from Stew McTavish As a newcomer to the world of geography and geo-graphic information, I've been stunned by what is happening and what is possible. The Open Venture Challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK showed what was possible by engaging your supporters and end-users in collaboratively creating the next big thing. I think that GeoVation has the potential to change the way that people think about and interact with the world around them. But the best thing is that we're just at the start of this GeoVation journey and the people we meet and talk to along the way will deter-mine where we end up.