GeoVation: share your geographic ideas

As I'm sure you know, there have been numerous innovations in the world of geography online in recent years, from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap, FireEagle to Twitter, and many more, but most (if not all) of these developments have come from commercial or open source worlds with little support from the public sector - unless you had access to large amounts of money to pay for their data.

The British Government is now starting to see the benefit of opening up data though, and I'm particularly happy to see the Ordnance Survey looking to make more data available to the public. All of which should stimulate innovation even further as it starts to make information available that was previously locked up in only commercially available datasets.

Related to this overall effort, the OS is currently promoting their GeoVation Challenge to encourage people to share their ideas for geographic innovation. There is even money up for grabs for the best business ideas proposed, designed to help get those ideas to market.

So, if you have ideas for map-based or generally geographic things you'd like to see developed, but don't have the time or knowledge to do it yourself, you can share them in the GeoVation Ideas Challenge and be in with a chance of a tour around the OS headquarters in Southampton (an interesting visit if you get the chance). On the other hand, if you have a business idea, and are prepared to put the work in to get it going, you can share your idea in the GeoVation Awards Challenge and be in with a chance to win up to £10,000 to help get your venture off the ground.

If you're interested in taking part, you will need to act fast as the closing date for entries is 4 January 2010. Best of luck!