We love maps at Bath: Hacked. From our historical maps to our visualisations in CartoDB we often find ourselves working with maps to explore new ways to visualise data about the local area. To make this even easier we’ve created a new open geographic data collection. And we’re pleased to be working with CartoDB to explore how that data can be made useful to the local community.

Our geographical data collection

At our environment hackday this weekend we’re expecting that a number of people will be exploring mapping based apps and tools. A regular theme of our recent ideas night discussions has been the need to highlight the range, variety and potential uses of our local green spaces. To help support this we’ve curated a collection of new and existing geographical data into a single consistent format for people to use.

We’re now pleased to announce the availability of our geographical data collection on github.  Just like we have with the main datastore we’ve brought together local data with relevant subsets of national datasets. The collection contains a total of 75 map layers that collectively describe our local area, including administrative regions, a variety of different types of green space, nature reserves, walking trails and a whole lot more.

But this is really just the start as we already have additional data to add to the collection, including some additional layers published under the INSPIRE directive and some provided by local housing authority Curo. So keep an eye out for new data over the coming week.

All of the data in the collection has been converted into geojson which can easily be imported and used in a variety of online mapping tools. Github even offers a built-in preview of the data, so you can explore it in its raw form.

We think this is the first time that such a comprehensive set of geographical data has been made publicly available in a single consistent format about our local area. Thanks to Mark Owen for putting in the effort to make this a reality.

Working with CartoDB

One tool that makes it easy to work with geographical data online is CartoDB. We’ve been big fans of their service for some time. We’ve used it to visualise traffic accidents and growth of businesses in the area. Mark Owen also also produced a short video tutorial that shows how you can create these types of visualisations without writing any code.

So we’re especially pleased that CartoDB have offered to support both Bath: Hacked and our environment hackday this weekend. For those of you coming along this weekend we’ll be able to offer:

  • temporary account upgrades so that you can make full use of the service and the data we’re publishing
  • free premium accounts as prizes for the winning teams and our “best in maps” category
  • access to a free online workshop about using cartodb if you sign-up to their newsletter

If you’re coming along to the hack day this weekend then sign-up to their newsletter take a look at the features of their platform. If you want more details about how to access upgraded accounts then please get in touch.

We’re also excited to say that they have offered us a start-up grant that will provide us with additional infrastructure to really create some useful and interesting visualisations and tools for the local community. This is amazing support and will really help us take forward the ideas that are worked on at the hackday to create some long-lasting impact.

We’re really pleased to be adding CartoDB and Rocketmakers to the list of fantastic sponsors who are supporting our next hackday. Sign-up now to reserve your space for this weekend.

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