Hampshire Hub taking shape

hub-data-catalogue

Some of the themes included the new Hub

We’ve been working hard for the last few months to get the new Hampshire Hub data platform into shape.

There are three main strands of work at present:

  • adding new features to Swirrl’s PublishMyData platform
  • preparing an initial collection of linked data datasets
  • building the Area Profiles application

Facelift and overhaul

PublishMyData is getting both a facelift and an engineering overhaul, if that isn’t too mixed a metaphor.

We’ve been adding a range of user interface enhancements to improve data navigation and presentation – to make data easier to find and use.

Behind the scenes we’ve been rebuilding the data management code, to lay the foundations for more robust and flexible tools for site administrators to edit, check and publish data. The Hub will hold a large number of datasets from across the many organisations in the Hub partnership, so good tools for maintaining the collection are a priority.

Data packs as linked data

So far we have been preparing a large collection of statistical reference data in linked data form, based on ‘data packs’ provided by OCSI.

OCSI gathers and collates statistics from a large range of public sources and organises them in a convenient form for local authorities. Swirrl has been setting up data transformation pipelines to convert this data into the RDF Data Cube format, a W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium) standard for publishing statistical data as linked data. Once organised like this, it becomes easy to filter and query the data, providing a great starting point for flexible data selection and visualisation tools.

Planning

The other strand of data processing and loading has been around planning applications. Hampshire County Council has been working with the districts in Hampshire, the Local Government Association, the Local e-Government Standards Board and the Department for Communities and Local Government to establish a standard way for local authorities to share information on planning applications as open data. The data from an initial group of district councils is being prepared for loading to the Hub.

Area Profiles

And thirdly, we have started development of an Area Profiles application, that will present a selection of data on the districts, wards and parishes across the Hub partnership, giving a visual overview of the population, economy, health, housing and education in each area.

Lots done, lots still to do

There’s a lot of hard work still to do, but with internal prototypes up and running, the project team is very enthusiastic about how it’s going to turn out. We should be ready to start sharing a public prototype soon.

About markbraggins

I’m interested in lots of things, in no particular order: society, politics, public services, open data, technology (and what you can do with it), wildlife, photography, the countryside, and long distance walking.

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