Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey challenges you to develop

We challenge you, the entrepreneurs and innovators, to explore possible use-cases and develop solutions that utilise the Android raw1 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals.

Ordnance Survey (OS) will support you with GNSS-focused technical advice and offer market insights relating to existing applications of high-accuracy GNSS.

Over 10 years ago OS developed a national infrastructure of over 110 permanent GNSS base stations, providing real-time kinematic (RTK) correction services for its own surveyors at the few cm level, and revolutionising its field survey operations. This service has subsequently been made available to the market via OS’s partners in the form of OS Net, and is widely used in construction, agriculture, mining, transport and logistics.

1This is the term Google has used to describe the measurement parameters available from Android devices.

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Android devices

In 2016 the release of Android Nougat introduced APIs that allowed access to Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) raw measurements from Android devices. In addition, Google has provided a suite of analysis tools.

This is an exciting development because it enables more accurate positioning services using real-time augmentation and/or post-processing techniques, with potential resultant accuracies of 1 metre or better, compared to conventional accuracies of 5 metres or worse from mobile phones.

Android devices generally determine their position using a combination of GNSS, WiFi and cell phone triangulation. However, WiFi can be problematic; for example, a user wishing to use a device to record positions in an urban environment may find their location shown as inside a building, when the correct location is outside. Additionally, some locations have no or limited WiFi and/or cell coverage, requiring exclusive use of GNSS signals.

The Challenge

The application of raw GNSS data from Android devices, together with GNSS-based augmentation such as OS Net, will enable a vast number of users to benefit from enhanced positioning services.

We at OS think that millions of cheap devices with the capability to log their position with high accuracy could be a game-changer that unlocks a raft of new business opportunities with growing relevance in the context of pending 5G connectivity. We are delighted to sponsor this challenge to help UK business take a lead in defining and exploiting these opportunities.

We would like to encourage you, the entrepreneurs and innovators, to explore possible use-cases and develop solutions that utilise the Android raw GNSS signals. We will support you with GNSS-focused technical advice and offer market insights relating to existing applications of high-accuracy GNSS.

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Ordnance Survey

(OS) is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, and a world-leading geospatial data and technology organisation. As a reliable partner to government, business and citizens across Britain and the world, OS helps its customers in virtually all sectors improve quality of life.

We also maintain the National GPS Network, known as OS Net, the infrastructure that supports our national coordinate systems in Great Britain and enables positioning to cm levels of accuracy. This is the starting point for our challenge topic.

We are committed to open innovation. Through our Geovation initiatives, we identify and invest in start-ups. By encouraging small business growth, we’re supporting Britain as a world-leader in innovation, and are expanding the use of geospatial data and technologies.

We’re passionate about the power of location data and believe that by collaborating with new ideas and entrepreneurial energy we create space for fresh thinking.