2014 was a fantastic Year…

I’ve been bad for not keeping you all up to date on dbyhundred activities so, as we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, here’s a potted summary of our greatest achievements this year;

SplashMaps is 4 times the size it was last year!
SplashMaps is 4 times the size it was last year!

1) I’ve been working nearly half my time on SplashMaps!  This year we made our weatherproof fabric maps go global!  Yes you can now choose a fabric map of anywhere in the world thanks to OpenStreetMap and our work with their finest. We also won awards for our cartography and kudos from the International Cartographic Association.for our popular destination and bespoke maps.  Got 2 minutes?  Here’s what we make; http://www.splash-maps.com/splashmaps-confidence-adventure/

Home Halo; IP all sorted... we've now gone public
Home Halo; IP all sorted… we’ve now gone public

2) Another “almost” half of the year has been spent with HomeHalo creating the worlds most simple way of managing your kids internet use.  I’ve been project manager from the start, taking the idea from concept through early prototyping now to manufacture and sales.  It’s a unique combination of hardware and cloud based services and draws on all my skills for international collaborations.

Working with the motor industry to forecast trends
Working with the motor industry to forecast trends

3) More Market Research work has been completed for SBD Ltd. using my expertise and contacts in the connected vehicle sector.  I was also very pleased to work with a new dbyhundred Ltd. star researcher for the first time on making new propositions in geo-research.  Every year the connections strengthen and new sources of info are found!

A new approach to innovation supported by European money.  And I help!
A new approach to innovation supported by European money. And I help!

4) I continue to work with the expert teams in the European Commission on a range of calls around innovation and implementation of cloud infrastructures.  These are great networking opportunities for all 3 of the above as well as the work which I carry out personally and is both fascinating, rewarding and helps keeps European technology ahead of the curve.

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We win more funding for SplashMaps!

We’ve won more funding for start-up SplashMaps!

ImageSince it started in November 2012 the idea of SplashMaps; Washable, wearable, waterproof maps designed for the REAL outdoors; has developed and captured the imagination of hard-nosed geographers and hard-core adventurers alike.

dbyhundred has contrinbuted to a lot of this success;

  • You could say our second success was breaking even this month!
  • And our third has just come in!  The Technology Strategy Board has just approved our application for an Innovation Voucher!  This gives us the funding we need to refine our customer centred web design.  Soon users will be able to select their preferred mapping area, automatically input their own data overlays and change titles and branding to make a totally unique map to their specification.

dbyhundred is proud to have been here for the start of this exciting business and to have helped make a reality out of a compelling idea.

SplashMaps across all media

SplashMaps across all media

It’s great to see our coordinated comms campaign working for SplashMaps!  Good luck guys! Dbyhundred continues to help the team as they develop the products and progress with the business model we created.  An inspirational start to 2013 and so many lessons and experiences to bring to current and new clients!

SplashMaps Press Release

“SplashMapsTM”; the latest technologies for the REAL outdoors no longer need batteries!

Going to the Kickstarter page is the best way to support SplashMaps

Hampshire based start-up SplashMapsTM begins a world-wide campaign to put stunningly practical maps into the hands of outdoor adventurers.  By creating its own state-of-the art maps on waterproof, washable, and wearable fabrics the company makes maps designed for the REAL outdoors.  With the latest in high performance fabrics and print technology the maps withstand the extremes of our weather and never need the delicate and frustrating folds you find in traditional paper and laminated maps.

But the novelty does not end there as Managing Director, David Overton, explains.

“Ordnance Survey (OS) have recently released some excellent digital data under their Open Data agreement” he said.  “This has allowed us to combine OS data with the OpenStreetMap data to provide a totally new product that we can tailor to any outdoor adventurer’s needs!”.

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) is the Wikipedia of the mapping world, with all the data coming from “the crowd”.  With its origins in the UK but now a global phenomenon, mapping enthusiasts are constantly updating the OSM database with highly detailed and increasingly reliable mapping in digital format.  “The data we use is in a vector form,” says fellow Director, Arnulf Christl.  “This means we can switch on and switch off certain types of content dependent upon the end use of the map.  We can change colours and symbols used in the map and so are not restricted to the “normal” look of a paper map.  We can even tailor the scale of the map dependent on how far you want to travel in your hobby…”, ever gone off the edge of a map whilst running or cycling? “…and we have developed technology that will allow users to select the point upon which to centre the map.”

As the OpenStreetMap is a truly global phenomenon, the business’ ambitions do not stop at our own shores.  “There is a ready market in outdoor adventures and it’s growing fast,” says Overton.  “Our research shows that mountain bikers and walkers prefer a scale somewhere between the two scales typically used in paper maps, so for our initial maps in the UK we are going for 1:40 000 and rolling out our first map in the New Forest”.  And part of the beauty of this map is that you can always keep it close to hand by stuffing it in a sleeve, up your shorts or tying it around your head as a bandana, or your neck like a scarf.

The company plans to provide maps for each of the 15 national parks of Great Britain by April, by which time the user will be able to select anywhere in the country.  Within 2013 the global offering will extend the company’s reach and international interest is already gathering pace.

“Already I am getting mail from enthusiasts in the USA who want to walk some of our great national trails in the UK” says Overton.  “In fact we have even been asked to provide the map for the GeoNext conference in Australia”.  Martin Von Wyss, the event organiser said he wants the map as the SplashMaps’ use of open and volunteered data “…represents a clever spin on the difficulty of publishing and distributing maps these days.”  Indeed the potential for SplashMaps has now been spotted by the World Bank in humanitarian applications in Africa.  Mark Iliffe, World Bank Geospatial Innovation Consultant said of the maps, “The paper maps produced just don’t stand-up in that environment, having something like a Splashmap would be fantastic.”

Overton showed SplashMapsTM to the mapping and technology experts at University College London for the recent #geomob gathering.  At the event Gary Gale, Director of Places for Nokia, co-founder of WhereCamp EU: “It’s maptastic” and “Nice to see SplashMapsTM as a real tangible thing to hold, even if it is a prototype it’s still impressive”.

SplashMapsTM is being crowd-funded, and is one of the first ideas in the UK to use the Kickstarter platform to raise funds.  The process is simple; if you like the idea of a SplashMapsTM, for example, you can make a pledge via the Kickstarter web site (just follow www.splashmaps.co.uk).  Each pledge (anything between £1 and £750) gets a reward dependent upon how much is pledged.  On the whole, you get a very good deal for making your pledge (thanks, maps, unique maps and invitations to a launch party are some of the rewards).  But more importantly you’ll get a rosy glow of pride from supporting a fledgling innovative business and the open and volunteer data eco-systems it supports.  If the company is successful in reaching its funding target those that made the pledges reap the rewards and SplashMapsTM gets some useful funds to develop the back-office technology and fund the early print-runs.

“This is a truly innovative project.  We’re embracing the wisdom of crowds in both our funding and in our data content.  Normally open data is only seen in digital applications.  But by creating these maps we are[D1]  making the open data ‘Tangible’ in order for people to see the value of the OpenStreetMap and the real benefits Tim Berners-Lee envisaged of open data initiatives at places like the Ordnance Survey,” says Overton.  “We are also working to encourage more contributors to the OSM to ensure this valuable resource becomes the best source of consistent mapping across the globe”.

Other quotations from key people in the geo-technology market:

Ed Parsons, the Geospatial Technologist of Google: “Great stuff .. can’t wait to use my SplashMap – Good luck David and Arnulf !!”

Ian Holt, Geospatial Developer Evangelist, Ordnance Survey “Ever thought that your nice walking map is big, awkward, gets soggy in the rain, cannot possibly be folded back into its original shape? Well what you need is a map from the guys at Splashmaps!”

Jennifer Allen, Business Analyst at Nokia “I like maps. And I like when people do clever things with them too.”

SplashMapsTM is a Limited company based in Chandlers Ford Hampshire and was incorporated in November 2012.

David Overton was the Innovation Manager at Ordnance Survey before starting his own consultancy, dbyhundred Ltd in 2009.  Since then he has been consulting, project and bid managing on some of the most influential European projects concerning geographic information.  Recent successes include winning the Geospatial World Forum award for implementing European spatial data policy with the ESDIN project (a European Spatial Data Infrastructure) and successfully winning a bid for a Euro 14M expansion of this work to create a European Location Framework together involving 30 partners.

Arnulf Christl is a spatial systems architect and has worked around making digital maps for two decades. He is an Open Source advocate and charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation which he co-founded in 2006. Since OSGeo’s inception he helped to shape the organization as a member of the board of directors and was OSGeo’s president in the past four years. Outside this volunteer time he consults to National Mapping Agencies around the world  helping them to design, set up and organize map and data services to serve the public interest.

Contact:

David Overton

Managing Director

SplashMaps Ltd

david@splashmaps.co.uk

+44 (0) 7876 390 656


 [D1]explain

SplashMapsTM – we have a product!

The latest prototype of our SplashMap (Maps on fabric for the REAL outdoors) is a great final prototype and only minor tweeks needed before it goes to market.Our prototype is lightweight, hard wearing, washable, clear, concise, and specifically tailered for the outdoors

Currently the prototype (covering the whole of the New Forest) is under test with the Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Triathalon community and Geocahers, Mountain bikers and walkers.  See latest trials here.  It’s been scrutinised by family and friends of course, but now we’ve run it past experts in graphic design,  web design and business consultants.

The map’s been jumped on, stuffed up sleeves, screwed up, rained on, tugged, used to wipe up spills (and later washed)… and that was just at the  excellent Southern Entrepreneurs Southampton branch networking event on Tuesday evening!     The SplashMap came out of all this with some increadibly encouraging support and a heap of contacts and offers to help us reach the market.  I am also confident the product will shake off anything the DOE and Triathaletes can throw at it having tested it many times with my New Force mountain bike friends.

Now that there is a priority date set by the intellectual property office (IPO) on our innovative design, it’s time to show the world!

Contact doverton@dbyhundred.co.uk if

  • you can suggest more contacts for retailing these
  • great ways to test it in the New Forest
  • you want to make an advanced order… Christmas is coming!
  • you can suggest contacts organising specific events where a bespoke map printed onto fabric will help in navigation and make a practical memento.

Why is dbyhundred involved?  We are here to get geographic information into the hands of everybody.   In creating this map we have combined the best sources of open geographic data available to demonstrate the value of these initiatives (thank you Ordnance Survey and OpenStreetMap!).  We’ve had to create processes for combining sources, refining content and tailoring for specific usages and we have a forward plan to develop and automate new products both physical and on-line and some that bridge the two!

Please keep a track of our progress!

David

3 Things to keep solid state maps relevant

GPS and on-line services killing the old paper map?

That’s not what I think.

Paper Maps are printed on the wrong stuff.

In reality the days of the paper map are limited. But whilst the huge advances in comms technology have brought us neat gadgets to find out where we are… we’ve forgotten to upgrade the printed map. With a little evolution the printed map could still outshine GPS on many counts.

Anyone that’s used a paper map in the real world know’s they’re rubbish! At least that’s what they become when mixed with even the mildest form of soggy weather.

Plus todays printed maps tend to be so general that you can’t see the trail for the tree symbols and all the other pointless content.

If you are doing proper outdoor stuff you need;
1) the cartography that gives you just what you need to plan, start, and triumphantly complete your adventure!
2) the map printed onto a fabric that won’t degrade with time, (or your niave origami) and definately won’t pulp even in your washing machine!
3) light-weight no-nonsense design that fits around you… rather than something that needs a waterproof container and it’s own ruck sack.

Don’t get us wrong. GPS is great! But save the expensive gear and the damage to your non-splashproof smart phone… get a SplashMap!

On Sunday we trail tested with the New Force Mountain Biking Club in Wiltshire.

Mountain bikers are no-nonsense people who expect the sort of shocks, mud and saturation our Splashmap was made for.

So next time you fold your old paper map, just remember… evolution is coming! www.splashmaps.co.uk