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Unlocking the geospatial potential of survey data

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Paper on a JISC-funded project based at the UK Data Archive, as presented at the GISRUK 2012 conference, Lancaster University. The project set out to better enable the use of Archive datasets in GIS, primarily by addressing metadata and quality issues of geospatial identifiers.

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Unlocking the geospatial potential of survey data

  1. 1. UNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATATom Ensom & Veerle Van den Eyndenwwww.data-archive.ac.uk
  2. 2. Archived survey data presents a vast wealth of material with potential for secondary use in GISUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  3. 3. UK DATA ARCHIVE • Over 5,000 datasets • Popular survey data series include:  Quarterly Labour Force Survey  British Household Panel Survey / Understanding Society  British Crime SurveyUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  4. 4. We set out to explore the availability and usability of geo-identifiers in the UK Data Archive collection These identifiers come in the form of ‘spatial units’ e.g. Ward and ConstituencyUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  5. 5. • The availability of geo-referenced data is ever increasing • The usability of geo-referenced data ‘out- of-the-box’ is still generally poor Reflective of and contributing too a divide between: • GIS experts – idiosyncratic methodologies • Untrained with interest – steep learning curveUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  6. 6. Three key features of ‘ready-to-link’ survey data for GIS 1. SELECTION 2. QUALITY 3. METADATA
  7. 7. 1. SELECTION Include geographical identifiers which: • Can be readily transformed • Are of sufficient resolution to allow for fine-grained analysis • Are appropriate to the data subjectUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  8. 8. 2. QUALITY Include geographical identifiers which: • Use standard names • Are coded with a standard coding scheme e.g. ONS’ GSS Coding and NamingUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  9. 9. 3. METADATA Include geographical identifiers which are: • Time-referenced e.g. Government Office Region as defined in 2001 as opposed to 1998 • Well documented in their derivationUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  10. 10. Those collecting data need to adjust their workflows to enable thisThose curating data need to adjust their workflows to enable this
  11. 11. What should data collectors be doing? • Considering geographic identifiers BEFORE data collection! • Considering standards • INSPIRE/GEMINI • GSS Coding and Naming • Documenting the provenance of geographic identifiersUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  12. 12. What will we be doing at the UK Data Archive? • INSPIRE compliance (we have published a metadata mapping for DDI-INSPIRE-GEMINI) • Improving spatial unit definitions through extensive data cleansing  Standardised  Time referencedUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  13. 13. What will we be doing at the UK Data Archive? • Improving resource discovery tools / interface  User friendly  Lessen time spent searching through text  Consider semantics • Feeding back to data depositors  Guidance on best practiseUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  14. 14. U·Geo Browser A new web tool for resource discovery • Revised and augmented variable metadata • Information clarifying the quality of the geo-identifier • Integrated spatial unit definitions • Links to boundary files Live beta at: geo.data-archive.ac.ukUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  15. 15. U·Geo Browser • A demo tool using a simple, pragmatic approach • This tech will be integrated into a central Archive resource discovery tool, and catalogued data will be updated to reflect these refinements - • A step in the right direction but we need formal semantics built on persistent vocabularies • A drive needed to establish thisUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA
  16. 16. Thanks to: • all those at the UK Data Archive • to EDINA for their contributions as consultants Tom Ensom tensom@essex.ac.uk wwww.data-archive.ac.uk @UKDataArchiveUNLOCKING THE GEOSPATIALPOTENTIAL OF SURVEY DATA

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