Innovation and changeDigital TransformationInnovative data projects receive £1.5 million funding

Innovative data projects receive £1.5 million funding

The competition winners will look at transforming services across the public and private sectors, and contribute to the #SmarterGov government campaign

Ten innovative data schemes from across the UK have won government funding to look at new ways of using location-based data to help people in their everyday lives. This funding is a part of a government competition designed to find new ways to use data.

In November, the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, announced a £1.5 million competition to help organisations find innovative ways to use crowdsourcing and location-based data. The aim of the competition was to explore the benefits and challenges of using crowdsourced data while delivering public benefit through individual projects. It also aimed to showcase the importance of geospatial and innovative data for improving public services.

Innovative ways for crowdsourced data

The Geospatial Competition was sponsored by the Geospatial Commission, an impartial, expert committee within the Cabinet Office, supported by £40 million of new funding in each of the next two years. It drives the move to use public and private sector geospatial data more productively. Research estimates that this could contribute up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.

The competition had asked different organisations to work together to identify innovative ways for crowdsourced data, to either:

  • Improve the delivery of public services
  • Support the third sector
  • Enhance the quality of open public datasets

Through the competition, Geospatial Commission have tried to explore the growing market of connected online communities and the growth of smartphones. This has led to the rise of the smart cities agenda.

Oliver Dowden, said:” We are investing in location-based data technology to improve public services and the way people experience them. I’m delighted to see such innovative ideas come forward, which will help people in their everyday lives and keep the UK at the forefront of this exciting new technology.”

Huge possibilities for transformation

The possibilities for transformation are huge for the awarded innovative data projects. There will be new systems designed to highlight the safest roads for cyclists to use in busy cities. A database of all the UK’s trees will be created. An indoor mapping system to help people find their way around public buildings will be launched.

By using existing infrastructure, such as WiFi hotspot locations and smartphone sensors, one of the winners hope to create a sat-nav-style system for people to use as they walk around public buildings. Organisations would volunteer to have their buildings included on the system and the maps would be made available through existing phone apps.

Also receiving funding are projects that highlight mobile phone signal blackspots, help tackle travel problems experienced by disabled people, and boost public understanding of the planning system.

The projects will be worked on by organisations across the UK and see research carried out by University College London, the University of Warwick, the University of Exeter and the Open University.

The complete list of the winners

The complete list of the winners is as follows:

  1. COMMUNITREE: Project partners: Forest Research, Open University, Treework Services Limited. This project will develop the largest and highest quality urban tree map in the world for use by business, government and other research needs.
  2. YOUR.VU.CITY: Project partners: Vu.City, Pipers Projects Limited, University College London. Vu.City will engage the public with the planning process to improve the understanding of the built environment.
  3. Crowd Blackspot Intelligence for 5G Rollout: Project partners: Ranplan Wireless Network Design, University of Warwick. This project will look at crowdsourcing service complaints to help guide 5G rollout for rural and urban areas.
  4. Crowdsouring for a Digital Geospatial Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: Project partners: City Science Corporation Limited, University of Exeter. Relevant databases will be brought together to enable members of the public to take an active role in health outcomes, by crowdsourcing data such as air quality, to enable practitioners to improve targeting of resources and the health of the nation.
  5. Precision INdoor POsitioning INformation sysTem (PINPOINT): Project partner: Cartographix LTD. This project will use WiFi networks and smartphone sensors to help better indoor navigation of public buildings.
  6. StreetFocus: Project partners: Cyclestreets, Planit. Communities will be able to automatically identify areas that need improvements to street infrastructure.
  7. Coreo: Project partner: Natural Apptitude. This platform will enable anyone to build and run geospatial citizen science projects to improve collection, management and maintenance of geospatial data.
  8. Routing Innovation through Data Engineering (RIDE): Project partner: Beeline. RIDE will develop route optimisation to increase cyclist safety and uptake.
  9. Generating crowdsourcing geospatial data: Project partner: Transreport Limited. This project will undertake research to understand the accessibility issues for transportation and the user experience for a wide range of disabilities, and how the data collected can be used to improve the service.
  10. The Neighbourhood safety index: Project partner: Synced LTD. This will produce the first integrated live score of how safe a neighbourhood is.

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