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Friday, 14 October 2011

London street accessibility data

Just a quick note about our progress: we've recently made some significant advances to the data analysis software and have been able to calculate street integration (which is correlated to pedestrian/vehicle traffic) for London and other GB regions using Open Street Map. In the image below the red roads are supposedly the busiest.

Even though the algorithm is still being improved we can already start to pick out the main arterial routes which is encouraging (the algorithm doesn't know about the size of roads, just which ones are connected to each other). It is also promising that we can process such as large data set.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Publishing Metadata for Crime Analysis

One of the concerns among crime analysts that arose out of our meeting in September was that there is often little information provided about data that they might like to use. For example it might not be clear how it was produced (what assumptions were made), when it was produced, whether or not it is still relevant, how accurate it is etc. This makes the data difficult for professionals to use because unless they are confident in it they can't make any certain conclusions - this is particularly important because it might feed into crime reduction policy.

One of the ways round this problem is to use good metadata (data that describe data). So, to coincide with our beta data releases we have published associated metadata that describe how the roads and buildings were generated, when they were created, where they can be downloaded from, who can be contacted for more information etc. We made use of the GeoDoc tool (part of the GoGeo project) which made the whole process incredibly easy and we will continue to release metadata once the final products are ready. This also has the advantage that it's easy for people to find the data by using the GoGeo search tool:

Monday, 10 October 2011

Making Open Data Real: A Public Consultation

The government are consulting on their forthcoming open data strategy:
The Open Data consultation paper sets out Government’s proposed approach for Transparency and Open Data Strategy, which is aimed at establishing a culture of openness and transparency in public services. We want to hear from everyone – citizens, businesses, public services themselves, and other interest groups – on how we can best embed a culture of openness and transparency in our public services.  The consultation closes on 27 October 2011.
This is definitely something could benefit crime analysis, we going to put some serious thought into a response and I'd encourage anyone else who is interested to respond to the consultation.