Mapping Free Data: London’s Working Week

Much of the data downloadable from London’s Data Store have a spatial dimension. Mapping this, even in the simplistic way above, should be encouraged to raise awareness of some of the stories it can (and can’t) tell about life in London. One of the most important uses I foresee for this data is in an educational context. Like never before students can access the data and use it to test concepts usually taught to them from other people’s analysis in textbooks. The map above is relatively simple to produce and already begins to tell an interesting story about the working lives of Londoners.

The map can also generate discussion about what it doesn’t show. I doubt that these statistics include many of those who are employed informally or illegally. In addition how much information has been lost when the data were aggregated to Local Authority level? I think these questions become more obvious when you begin to engage with the data through even the most basic analysis- such as producing a map. I therefore think London’s Data Store alongside the other free data websites such as data.gov.uk and the Guardian’s data store should become invaluable resources in GIS and geography education.

The statistics can be found here.