Communities and neighbourhoods - the future for open data about localities

As of 30 November 2011, the Department has closed the Places Database and the following analytical views: 

  • the main Places Database view (previously available via communities.gov.uk/places)
  • the Indices of Deprivation explorer (previously available via communities.gov.uk/imd)
  • the Housing and Planning view (previously available via communities.gov.uk/planningview and communities.gov.uk/housingview).

All data in these views is available from alternative, public sources. 

Data from the English Indices of Deprivation 2010 provides downloads of:

  • neighbourhood-level - lower super output level (LSOA) data sets with the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation, domain and sub-domains, as well as the supplementary indices
  • all the available underlying data that underpin the Indices, including the population denominators
  • summaries of the Indices at local authority district, County and primary care trust (PCT) level
  • links to the technical/methodology report and the guidance document.

We have prepared a list of data that was previously available in the Housing and Planning view, with links to the latest (as at 30 November 2011) alternative source (see download below). More up-to-date data on Housing, Planning and other topics is also available in the statistics section. 

You can also discover and explore statistics for different themes and localities via the Office of National Statistics' new Local Profiles Service (external link)

Future of open data at DCLG

As part of its drive to be a fully open, transparent organisation, the Department remains committed to routinely releasing data that is accessible to and re-usable by range of audiences, for many different purposes. This is in line with the Government's drive for open data (external link) and related commitments in DCLG's business plan.

Our future strategy is to move progressively to offer data in open, standardised formats. Our work here will be:

  • framed by new standards and data publishing practices emerging from the Government's open data initiatives - in particular the drive towards LinkedData (external link) 
  • shaped and guided by user demand
  • aligned with the Government ICT strategy (external link)
  • planned and prioritised to ensure it remains affordable and sustainable.

Our first step has been to offer the English Indices of Deprivation in a fully open, LinkedData compliant form. This is currently available via our trial Open Data Communities site (external link) with a demonstration application published at 2010 Index of Deprivation demo (external link). Please note that these sites are prototypes, developed at zero cost to DCLG. They are designed to help the Department test, understand and plan the progressive move to routinely publishing data that is openly accessible, and actively used in a range of scenarios. 

Our current plans involve working with a broader range of open data experts and software developers/innovators, to extend the range of data offered in this way. We are working towards offering - by end-March 2012 - a selection of statistics on Housing, Planning and other departmental outputs in a similar open, re-usable form. 

Alongside that, we are hoping to build relationships with the external software developer and innovator community. Our aim is to encourage development of new applications which illustrate innovative uses of DCLG's data outputs, and the wider potential of open data.

Further information on DCLG's public datasets is also available on data.gov.uk (external link). 

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