Open Data Communities website and Indices of Multiple Deprivation

Ric Roberts from Swirrl is here at the second Lovely Data hack day.

Ric and his colleague Bill were at the last hack day with their linked data version of the Transport for Greater Manchester Bus timetable data, which is available via the Linked Manchester website. You can read more about this work on the Swirrl website here. (I’ll post an entry about some of the applications developed from that data in a bit.)

Ric has told me about the work they have been doing with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the Open Data Communities website.

The site provides Linked Data access to the Index of Multiple Deprivation datasets, including a range of useful information covering population, income, education, health, environment and availability of key community facilities for both 2007 and 2010.

The site lets you browse and search the data and to see at a glance what data is available, but its key purpose is to make the data easily accessible for others to re-use.

You can access and re-use the data via their RESTful HTTP API, or via SPARQL, and get the data in a variety of formats (such as XML, JSON) to extract it in the way that’s useful for you.

Swirrl hope that people will use this data in a variety of ways and combine it with information from other sources.

A couple of blog posts explaining more are here:

On the environment and health theme the relevant indicators are explained in detail here:

Ric has summarised this…

Health: based on a combination of indicators that compare actual outcome with expected outcome for that age group and sex. Underlying indicators include premature death (number of years of life lost vs expected/average – so some of the scores are negative if an area does better than the average), numbers of people receiving disability benefits, emergency admissions to hospital, mental health.

Environment: combination of poor condition housing, houses without central heating, air quality and road traffic accidents involving injury to peds and cyclists.

Since there are also indicators about income, education etc – there are lots of opportunities for looking at correlations, mashing up with other datasets to see what kinds of effects environment and housing might have on other stuff – or that might lead to bad environment and housing.

The ten most deprived areas for health are all in the North West, several within Greater Manchester: Rochdale is top of the league. (Manchester not so bad on the environment scores, at least it’s not in the top 10).

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