Your Vu City
VU.CITY is among the winners with a project to use 3D maps to involve people in the planning process

10 winners share £1.5m prize to use geolocation for public services

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Nicholas Fearn

A system that highlights safe roads for cycling, a database of British trees and an indoor mapping solution were among the technologies selected by the government’s Geospatial Commission and Innovate UK agencies.

The 10 initiatives from across the UK will receive funding and research support under the scheme, aimed at exploring ways in which location-based data can be used to help improve people’s daily lives.

Oliver Dowden, minister for implementation, said: “We are investing in location-based data technology to improve public services and the way people experience them.”

Research will be carried out by University College London, the University of Warwick, the University of Exeter and the Open University.

One of the organisations be awarded funding was London-based Cartographix. With the funding, the firm wants to develop a sat-nav system to help people find their way around public buildings. The novel technology will be powered by existing infrastructure such as Wi-Fi hotspot locations and smartphone sensors.

Anu Joy, from Cartographix, said: “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.”

The other companies are:

Communitree | An urban tree map that will be made available for business, government and research needs. Project partners include Forest Research, Open University and Treework Services.

Your.Vu.City | A  project to involve the public more in the planning process to improve the understanding of the built environment. Project partners include Vu.City, Pipers Projects and University College London.

Crowd Blackspot | The project will crowdsource service complaints to guide the rollout of 5G in rural and urban areas. Partners include Ranplan Wireless Network Design and the University of Warwick.

Crowdsourcing for a Digital Geospatial Joint Strategic Needs Assessment | The initiative will crowdsource data such as air quality to help the public take an active role in health outcomes and enable practitioners to improve the targeting of resources. Project partners include City Science Corporation and the University of Exeter.

Pinpoint | This project will build an indoor navigation system of public buildings by utilising Wi-Fi networks and smartphone sensors.

StreetFocus | It will allow communities to automatically identify areas where street infrastructure improvements are needed. Project partners include Cyclestreets and Planit.

Coreo | A platform that will let users build and run citizen science projects with the aim of improving the collection, management and maintenance of geospatial data. The project will be led by Natural Aptitude.

Routing Innovation through Data Engineering (RIDE) | It will develop a route optimisation solution to improve cyclist safety and uptake. The project is led by Beeline.

Generating crowdsourcing geospatial data | The project will explore accessibility issues for transportation, the user experience of disabilities and how service can be improved through data collection. The project is led by Transreport.

Neighbourhood safety index | Synced will develop a live score of how safe a neighbourhood is.

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