Over the last few months we’ve added some new features on the OpenDataCommunities linked open data site that we continue to run and develop for our friends at DCLG. The first is the Statistics Selector, and the second is the Geography Selector. And both of them make it easy to cherry pick and combine data you want from across all the datasets on the site.

The Statistics Selector was created late last year. It allows you to build your own table of data by uploading a CSV file of geography codes (GSS codes or postcodes) and then creating a table of your choice by combining columns from multiple datasets in the OpenDataCommunities database. The resulting table can be downloaded as CSV (so you can load it into a spreadsheet or other computer program), and conveniently, has a permalink so you can refer to it later.

stats selector

But what if you don’t know the GSS code (or the postcode) of the area you’re interested in? To help address this, last month we launched the Geography Selector. This interactive map is nice and easy to navigate and lets you find the area you’re interested in quickly. When you select an area, its details appear alongside and you can launch the Statistics Selector straight from there. Lovely and quick. As a bonus, you can also download the GSS code(s) of your selection (these are useful to know as they’re often used to identify geographic areas in government data).

geo selector

Both of these features make it easier for users to slice and dice the data so they can get what they need, download it, save it and do with it what they will. Watch this space for more developments with opendatacommunities - in the coming months we’ll be updating it with the latest version of PublishMyData and it’s going to get a new look. Exciting!

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