Successfully building for the future with Ordnance Survey and Land Registry

Last September Ordnance Survey and Land Registry launched a GeoVation Challenge that asked how can we do housing in Britain better? Forty three ideas were submitted. Of which nine were selected to pitch for funding, and today Ordnance Survey and Land Registry reveal who was successful and the funding they will receive.

Geo-vey: Swindon-based Dave Barter and Richard Reynolds of Nautoguide Ltd have been awarded £29,000 to develop a free online portal – underpinned by OS and Land Registry data – that uses crowd-sourcing to generate ideas for improvements to local communities. Businesses and organisations wanting to gauge local opinion on planned or suggested infrastructure developments can also use the tool for a fee.

MyHome Energy Planner: The team from Carbon Co-op, National Energy Foundation, OpenEnergyMonitor and URBED has been awarded £25,000 to create an online tool that shows households their energy usage and ways of controlling and reducing future energy demand. The team will pilot the tool and work with local authorities and their existing network to raise market awareness.

Democratising Development: Andy Reeve and Joyjit Sarjar's idea of using OS and Land Registry data to identify small-scale sites currently disused or unmanaged with the view to bringing these to the housing market has been awarded £24,000. The duo from Birmingham plan to use the WikiHouse principles of building small scale, easy to build houses on these sites, making the option of self-build more accessible.

Dave Barter, Geo-Vey, says: “The Geovation process has completely reinvigorated our approach to seeding and developing ideas through to business case. We began with a loose idea of something that seemed worthy and feasible, but the mantra of “problem, solution, execution” was soon firmly instilled in our brains by the GeoVation team. The funding will allow us to grow a service that will make a real difference in the community.”

Andy Reeve, Democratising Development, says: “Joy and I really wanted OS and Land Registry data to be central to our idea of identifying underused publicly owned land which could be suitable for micro scale development. We would then use an open design platform, WikiHouse, to allow people to literally build their own sustainable, well designed, liveable home. We hope to have a really positive impact on the housing market.”

Lynne Nicholson, Land Registry’s representative on the Judging Panel, says: “It is exciting to see people using datasets to create solutions that benefit the wider community. Ideas that help people save money, think more strategically or improve their local community are real winners in my view. We are proud to support these start-up companies with funding and business expertise along with Ordnance Survey, helping them to turn their ideas into commercial ventures.”

Viv Alexander, GeoVation Community and Event Manager, says “The nine finalists attending GeoVation Camp were supported by a dedicated team of helpers from both Ordnance Survey and Land Registry, along with service designers and others, in what was an exciting and packed weekend. The atmosphere was tense as teams refined their ideas, practiced their pitches and prepared for the visit of judges. The spirit was amazing as helpers and teams put together nine clearly defined ideas, which gave the judging panel a difficult decision to make. The three who were successful demonstrated an ability to be innovative, best addressed the Challenge’s identified problems and have well defined business models.”

A new GeoVation Challenge is being planned for a summer 2015 launch.

Head of Media


About Us

Ordnance Survey is Great Britain's national mapping authority, keeping 460 million geographical features updated to provide an accurate picture of the country. We collect, maintain and distribute the most accurate and up-to-date geographic information (GI) of the whole country that government, business and individuals all rely upon. From our surveyors on the ground, measuring and tracking changes; our planes that maintain our aerial photography of Great Britain; data technology specialists who build and maintain our bespoke IT systems; and product experts redefining how customers can benefit from our data, we all have one vision: to be the content provider of choice for location-based information. Our iconic maps are one of our most recognised brands, but these days digital data accounts for 93% of our business. Demand for accurate, accessible, high-quality GI has never been so high. Our database holds an entire digital map of the country with 460 million features and we work day-in, day-out to keep it up-to-date. We build products to meet our customers' needs and support our emergency services with vital road and land information, and provide data to utility companies to make sure you can get water and gas supplies to your home. From ensuring optimum routes for refuse collection to getting your shopping to your door – our work is all around you.SpecialtiesGeographical information, Web services, Cartography, Leisure maps, Geospatial data management, Surveying, Innovation, GeoVation, GIS, Paper maps, Digital maps