Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graphic partnership brings life to local council data

Date:
July 13, 2010
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
Data visualization techniques that generate sophisticated graphics could bring a fresh dimension to communications and decision-making by public bodies like local councils, according to researchers in the UK.

Data visualisation techniques that generate sophisticated graphics could bring a fresh dimension to communications and decision-making by public bodies like local councils, according to research completed for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The vizLib project presents data in a graphic format to show how people use public services such as libraries. The project was led by Dr Jason Dykes, senior lecturer in geographic information at City University London, in partnership with Robert Radburn, research manager at Leicestershire County Council.

Dr Dykes says: "The project shows how cutting- edge graphics -- some of which are quite abstract and sophisticated -- can be applied practically, to assist organisations like local authorities in the analysis and use of large, complex datasets. There was a process of knowledge exchange between the university and the local authority, and between academics and officials. We have expertise in graphics, while they know about public bodies and the sort of data they can generate."

Local authorities now have access to huge amounts of electronic data from items like library cards. This gives them the opportunity to consider the behaviour of service users in ways not previously possible. In the past profiles were drawn up on the basis of census data, creating issues with the sheer volume of data, and this can make traditional forms of presentation inadequate. The kinds of maps and graphics produced in the vizLib project -- novel but informed by scientific findings -- can help.

The vizLib project analysed data collected from 450,000 users of Leicestershire's 54 libraries, over a two year period. The graphics, based on postcodes, mapped factors such as the behaviour of users from different areas, the usage profiles of individual libraries, the impact of geography on usage, and patterns of competition between small and larger libraries.

Mr Radburn said: "The project has given us an unprecedented understanding of the way in which the people of Leicestershire use our library services" and that this would inform policy decisions. He has also found that "the presentation of information through the graphics inspires much greater interest in both policy-makers, such as councillors, and members of the public."

Dr Dykes, who argues that ' graphicacy' should be recognised as an essential skill alongside articulacy, numeracy and literacy, says: "Graphics are particularly effective where there is a spatial dimension to an issue. The problem often has two dimensions, and the graphic helps people to think in two dimensions."

While libraries were used in the initial project, the techniques are transferable to other services and datasets. One area under consideration is the daily flow of children to and from schools; this information could inform where to concentrate traffic calming projects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Graphic partnership brings life to local council data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713204908.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2010, July 13). Graphic partnership brings life to local council data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713204908.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Graphic partnership brings life to local council data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713204908.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) — Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — LG announces a round-faced smartwatch, Samsung adds 3G connectivity to its latest wearable, and Apple will reportedly announce the iWatch on Sept. 9. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Google has been developing a drone delivery system of its own, and it hopes to revolutionize how people view possessions with it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — A report by Wired suggests Apple's next iPhone will feature a mobile payment system and near-field communication. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins