10 finalists selected for Geovation Camp


Challenge BannerThe judging panel have now selected a short-list of 10 finalists who have been invited to develop their ideas further at Geovation Camp, held over the weekend of 4-6 March 2016 at Ordnance Surveyin Southampton.

The finalists are…


Fix my river              

An idea to ask people on the street to inform relevant authorities of problems by extending a site like fixmystreet.com to include river pollution, flooding, overflowing drains and breach hotspots.


Universal water project translator           

A tool to enable proposed and current catchment management and water management project information to be shared seamlessly between all partners in the Catchment Based Approach. Users only need to enter their data in one place to update all existing water project databases and publish OpenData layers for re-use in other systems.  This will enable better collaboration on projects aimed at improving water quality.


Missed connections identification         

The use of optical brighteners has been established as a low cost way to diagnose missed connections. Use of UV light to identify the presence of these optical brighteners in watercourses in combination with a mobile device and mapping application and GIS data can help locate missed connections and remedy them. Using a simple UV filter attachment for a smart phone and citizen-science volunteers, indicator signals for missed connections can be easily recorded and combined with existing geospatial data to locate the source of missed connections.

Refillable Cities       

Based on the model pioneered by Refill Bristol, Refillable Cities would see every city and town in the UK reduce its dependency on plastic-bottled water. The aim is to change the mind-set of the public when it comes to single-use plastics and stem the flow of plastic litter reaching our oceans.  Refill Bristol has refill points on every street, via cafes, retailers, hotels and businesses as well as installing more water fountains at key locations around the city. Once established, the campaign can be rolled out in cities nationwide.

Green Shield            

Public perception is that flood defences need to involve dredging, large-scale engineering and hard-defences.  Adopting a catchment-based approach, identifying potential areas wherein soft defences could be effective, and valuing the flood mitigation benefits of engineered landscapes (in addition to their amenity value) would change public perception and encourage landowner participation.  Greenshield is a GIS layer that could be used in existing systems by stakeholders such as the EA, DEFRA or local planning office.  It could also be a website to allow easy participation by the public and landowners.

Lidar for flood analysis    

Extensive flooding has hit the headlines recently, affecting area that were previously seen as safe. In the past the solution has been to use risk analysis to predict potential floods and provide flood defences in vulnerable areas based on probability of severity. With the continued changes to the environment, limited resources and predictions becoming less accurate, alternative methods are required.  Currently, farmers receive money from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy for keeping land in farmable condition. Under the flooding farmland grant plans, farmers could be rewarded for designating land to be inundated in heavy rains to prevent excess water flooding property in towns downstream.  This idea combines data to identify suitable land in a consistent and logical way using GIS queries. This will provide a blueprint for the environment agency to proactively agree with landowners and install low cost infrastructure as required.

Interactive sandbox flood management            

An idea to create an interactive playbox which mixes layers of physical data with visual animation and feedback. The real-life sand in the box can be played with and the data is fed into the computer. The software processes parameters such as the height of the sand and hand motions made by the users; and then projects back onto the sand visual geographical information, including elevation, contour lines, rainfall and water flow simulation. The fun playful element of a real sandbox combined with motion capture and other modern technology, utilising a science-led approach and geographical information is confident to be widely attractive.


Plastic Flotsam and Jetsam         

An app to allow citizen scientists and beachcombers to record instances of plastics being washed up on-shore, and place them on a map. People are already forming Facebook groups for their local area to share finds and ask for help in identifying objects being washed up. Adding a spatial element, and allowing the data to be downloaded, would allow a more detailed picture of the problem to emerge.


Natural flood mitigation   

Create a national map of the areas where ‘natural’ flood mitigation measures (e.g. meandering, afforestation, drain blocking, restoring wetlands and washlands etc.) might be employed whilst minimising the impact on existing economic activities. The map would use topographic, land cover and soils data, coupled with agricultural and urban land use information, to rate the opportunity value. This could be extended by mapping the economic cost-benefit. The map should be made available for free online to inform flood managers and community groups in their approaches to land managers and implement schemes at the catchment scale. The map should also be used to identify areas where there would be further benefits.



Landstory.io is a digital platform and physical network to facilitate co-operation and collaboration between the public, private and community sectors. The platform will map and build a picture of the human and physical landscape to enable the implementation of social, ecological and financially beneficial landscape interventions. The purpose is the regeneration of landscape resources and subsequently, the mitigation of critical water related issues in the UK.   The team will be to build a replicable and scalable model which can be integrated into schools, universities and community groups to empower the next generation to adopt and innovate in relation to water issues.


During the weekend Geovation Camp the teams will have the opportunity to develop their ideas into a prototyped ventureand to build a pitch. On Sunday they will pitch their ideas to the judging panel and assembled audience. At the end of the Camp we’ll decide the three winning ideas that will go on to our funded Geovation Programme in April 2016.

Participants at camp will also be able to vote for their favourite idea to receive the £1,000 Community Award prize.

You can read more about the ideas and continue to comment on them here

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