Instant AtlasUsing open data to understand our city
A huge amount of data exists across the city, locked away in different organisations and departments, and being used in different ways. Understanding data is not easy, and knowing how to ask the ‘right’ questions is a skill that takes time to learn. Peterborough City Council recognises that data has the power to really open up our city, helping to see and understand what is working well and, when required, provide the right type of intervention and support in the right place at the right time.
A pilot project is underway, focusing on the needs of the The Health and Wellbeing Board and the The Safer Peterborough Partnership:
An easy to use visualisation tool which allows the performance and informatics teams’ customers to identify local patterns, trends and correlations relevant to their area of business.
Creation of an on-demand self-serve evidence base, allowing instant access to key data for managers and staff.
Allowing ‘better’ questions to be asked, facilitating deep dives aligned to the subject matter from expert observations.
A scalable solution which by design promotes a standardised approach to geo-spatial data.
This “software as a service” solution aligns with the Council’s digital strategy as well as the aspirations of facilitating a self-service culture.
THE URBAN OBSERVATORY
The Urban Observatory is an interactive web-based software platform that allows users to compare and contrast city-oriented maps. It has been developed as an initiative between ESRI, Richard Saul Wurman, and RadicalMedia. Its main aim is to make the world’s (city) data both understandable and useful. The Urban Observatory’s main functions are to compare maps on similar themes from multiple cities and to compare differently themed maps within one city (ESRI et al, 2014).
Working in partnership with academic colleagues from Cranfield University, an Urban Observatory profile for Peterborough has been successfully created drawing on multiple collected and analysed datasets, one of the most important points was to use open data.