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Researchers create open data portal for every UK local authority

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Posted October 16, 2015

Researchers from the University of Liverpool, working as part of the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), have built a data portal for every local authority in the UK.

The CDRC aims to collect, share and analyse the large consumer data sets gathered by major retailers, local government organisations and businesses in order to better understand and inform societal challenges from traffic planning to public health education.

Professor Alex Singleton with Professor Jane Elliot, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), at the launch of the CDRC data service

Professor Alex Singleton with Professor Jane Elliot, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), at the launch of the CDRC data service

The new portal brings together a variety of publicly available open data sources into one website.  The data has been reconfigured so that anyone can easily find, access and use the information.

Examples of data included on the website are diverse, ranging from retail catchment areas that show the most probable shopping destinations in local communities through to a variety of contextual data including use and engagement with the Internet or up-to-date local population estimates.

Adding value

The CDRC is an ESRC-funded research consortium made up of University College London, the University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool; drawing locally on Liverpool’s expertise in applied spatial analysis within the Geographic Data Science Lab and the Centre for Spatial Demography Research.

Professor Alex Singleton, from the University’s Department of Geography and Planning, said: “As part of the CDRC project, here at Liverpool we have created an open datastore for each local authority in the UK.

“These do not simply replicate data sources available elsewhere, but add value to each open data deposit by reengineering existing information sources into new formats so that they are easy to use; aiming to address any barriers to entry.

“I would encourage anyone to look at our open data portal and find out what information is available for their local area.”

To access the local authority open datastore visit: data.cdrc.ac.uk/lad

Source: University of Liverpool

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