Page last updated at 08:07 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Awards offered for map mash-ups

New crime map website
The Home Office has launched a map showing crime hotspots

A competition aimed at making the most of map data has been launched.

Backed by UK mapping agency Ordnance Survey, the GeoVation competition aims to find new ways for geography to empower citizens.

Ideas already submitted include a service that lets pedestrians map safe routes based on the location of CCTV cameras.

Another suggests a text alert service to alert 999 callers to their nearest defibrillator.

The initiative comes as the Home Office releases nationwide crime maps.

The map proved so popular that the website initially struggled to cope with demand.

Dragons' Den

There are three broad themes for the GeoVation prize - crime, health and the environment, although entrants can come up with other ideas.

"This is all about investing in worthwhile, exciting and innovative uses of geography," said GeoVation founder John Abbott.

"We believe geography can play a real part in addressing some of the world's big challenges and we want to unleash people's creative potential," he added.

The competition is open to anyone and entrants are free to suggest the use of any resources, such as Google Maps or OS OpenSpace.

The ten shortlisted candidates will be asked to pitch in a Dragons' Den style arena at the end of January.

The outright winner will claim a prize fund of £10,000 to develop their idea. Two runners-up will be awarded £5,000 each.

The closing date for entries is 4 January 2010.

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