Revolutionising the traditional map

New map technologies
16 Nov 2010 03:26:34.650
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Creative cartographers from across the UK will descend on The University of Nottingham for a two-day event aimed at pushing the boundaries for the development of new mapping ‘apps’ and software.

WhereCamp UK is described by organisers as a ‘geo unconference’ because it will give participants the flexibility to develop a programme when they arrive on the day, depending on where their interests lie and the experience and interests of fellow delegates.

The event is expected to attract around 120 people from across the spectrum of cartography expertise including academia, business, the ‘third sector’, computer scientists and web gurus developing the next generation of mapping technologies.
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Participants will showcase their work and develop collaborations on a range of mapping applications from mobile device apps to web 2.0 — applications that encourage information sharing and which feature user-centred design.

The event, which is taking place on Friday November 19 to Saturday November 20, has been organised by Dr Hanif Rahemtulla, Research Fellow in Horizon Digital Economy Research, a research hub and doctoral training centre based at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), and by Christopher Osborne of ITO World, a transportation and data intelligence company.

Christopher Osborne, said: “If you have an interest in geography and how it’s changing the way we interact with the world, then you should come along. This is the chance to brainstorm, share and learn from people who are revolutionising the idea of the traditional map.”

WhereCamp UK will particularly take advantage of the recent surge in the availability of ‘open data’ — data which is freely available for use without the constraints of copyright, patents or other control.

It follows the launch in recent months of and the London Data Store, which aim to open up access to data held by central government departments about the capital and the regions.

The web developer community has been leading a concerted effort to open up the amount of data freely available to the British public, which prompted the technology section of The Guardian newspaper to launch a Free Our Data campaign.

The WhereCamp event is the first to be held outside of London — the WhereCamp EU event which took place in the capital in March this year attracted around 180 delegates. The format is based on the original WhereCamp concept which has been so successful in Silicon Valley.

The event is being sponsored by Horizon Digital Economy Research,, BT, Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation and ESRI UK, the software leader for geographical information systems (GIS).

Horizon Digital Economy Research represents an initial £40million investment by Research Councils UK, The University of Nottingham and more than 100 academic and industrial partners in both a Research Hub and Doctoral Training Centre within the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Horizon brings together researchers with backgrounds in computer science, the geospatial sciences, engineering, psychology, sociology, business, social science, law and the arts to build-in an understanding of people and society in technology developments from the outset, and to ensure users benefit from these advances.

GeoVation is Ordnance Survey’s innovation network which seeks to encourage the use of geography to address specific social, economic or environmental needs. It does this by running innovation challenges through which people with great ideas can win seed funding to bring them to life. The current GeoVation Challenge is ‘How Can we Improve Transport in Britain’ which has an awards pot of £150,000. To find out more and to enter, visit 

WhereCamp UK is taking place at the Sir Colin Campbell Building on The University of Nottingham Innovation Park next to its award-winning Jubilee Campus on Friday November 19 and Saturday November 20 from 9.30am to 5pm.

More information and details of how to register are available on the web at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

Story credits

More information is available from Hanif Rahemtulla on +44 (0)115 823 1420,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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