Government awards £1.5m to innovative data projects

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location-based data, mapping system,
© Kwanchaidt

Ten innovative data projects 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

New systems designed to highlight the safest roads for cyclists to use in busy cities, create a database of all the UK’s trees, and launch an indoor mapping system to help people find their way around public buildings, could soon be created thanks to a government competition designed to find new ways to use data.

In November, Oliver Dowden, the Minister for Implementation, announced a £1.5m competition to help organisations find innovative ways to use crowdsourcing and location-based data.

Among the ten winners are schemes including:

  • YOUR.VU.CITY – Vu.City will engage the public with the planning process to improve the understanding of the built environment
  • StreetFocus – Communities will be able to automatically identify areas that need improvements to street infrastructure.
  • Pinpoint – a project to create an indoor mapping system to help people find their way around complex public buildings, such as hospitals and universities.

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.”

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London-based Cartographix is one of the organisations which have been awarded funding through the crowdsourcing competition, which was led by the government’s Geospatial Commission in partnership with Innovate UK.

By using existing infrastructure, such as WiFi hotspot locations and smartphone sensors, the programmers at Cartographix hope to create a sat-nav-style system for people to use as they walk around public buildings.

Anu Joy from Cartographix commented: “The aim of our mapping system is to make life easier for people. And we would not be able to do this work without the funding we are receiving from the government.”

A project to boost public understanding of the planning system will also receive funding.

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