A project management tool for remote team working has won the UK arm of European Satellite Navigation Competition.
ManagePlaces allows users to upload documents to the cloud which are tagged with a position so other members of a team can view all the information relevant to any particular location from any tablet or portable device.
Developed in Surrey, ManagePlaces, was announced as the winner of UKSNC, a global competition aimed at stimulating new innovations in satellite navigation for use in technologies like smart phone apps and location-based services, at an awards ceremony in Munich.
ManagePlaces founder Georgios Michalakidis said: "Whilst never intended as a conservation tool, since going to market we have had many different industries approach us with a need that we can now cater for.
“We are always coming across managers in industries we never imagined our product having applications saying, ‘Hey! This solves my problem too’. With our success in this competition and the support and advice on issues like IP from the expert sponsors we plan to tailor our software to serve some of these new markets.
“We are already starting to use the system for asset tracking, whilst in farming ManagePlaces could be used to record crop information and plan harvesting activities."
As the new UKSNC champions, ManagePlaces will receive £5,000 in cash and the same amount again in business support including office space, patent advice, and introductions to industry partners and funding opportunities.
It is currently being used by wildlife trusts and mineral extraction companies, including Aggregate Industries, alongside sensor networks on the ground that collect data on rainfall and temperature and other recordings, to create a conservation land management tool for improving wildlife habitats and protecting and biodiversity in sites of scientific interest or outstanding natural beauty.
In India, ManagePlaces is being used by Tiger Nation which has connected it to a unique tiger stripe image recognition system so tourists’ photos are analysed and matched with their location to chart the location and movement of individual tigers.
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: "ManagePlaces have proposed a simple solution to managing large complex data sets by filtering data to the users’ location in the field.
“Whilst other businesses are working to a similar concept this is a clear thought out tool that is versatile enough to be used in a wide variety of sectors and is backed by a motivated and knowledgeable team.
“By combining an excellent understanding of the application of geolocation data with great insights into the increasing need for flexibility in the modern workplace, ManagePlaces are exactly the type of exciting young business this competition and the Catapult was set up to support."
The runner up in the UK Category was TeamSurv, another crowd sourced system, which draws data from hundreds of ships and maps to chart the large proportion of our seas that are inadequately surveyed.
Set up by marine navigation and GIS expert Tim Thornton, the firm will receive £1000 as part of his prize, alongside additional business, technical, legal and financial advice. Tim plans to put the money into continuing to grow his fleet of vessels which provide data from their depth instruments and GPS data.
These measurements are corrected for factors such as tide height, and combined to map the hills and valleys of the underwater topography. The information collected is not just vital for safe navigation but also for many other applications, including monitoring erosion around underwater cables or wind farms, feeding into models for climate change research and influencing decisions on where to put fish farms.
The UK Satellite Navigation Competition is run by the University of Nottingham’s GNSS Research and Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE) with support from a variety of sponsors. 722 business ideas from around the world were put before judging panels in over 25 countries, of which 93 were from the UK, the highest number for any single territory.