As appeared in GeoUK Top Ten News (the forth issue of 2009) Communities and Local Government and Informed Solutions havedelivered a new version of the Places Database. Over 4,000 datasetsrelated to over 70,000 places nationwide are made available in anenhanced âPlacesâ website (http://www.places.communities.gov.uk),whilst the new Places Analysis Tool enables analysis of the nationalLocal Area Agreement indicators, including the Place Survey, andsome 14,000 targets (http://www.pat.communities.gov.uk/pat). ThePlaces Database is an award winning knowledge management solutionthat makes information related to places available through acommunity of audience-specific web sites and web services.Below is the full article.
Award Winning Places Database puts Geography at the Heart of Knowledge Management at Communities and Local GovernmentCommunities and Local Government (CLG) have recently added powerful new capabilities to the award-winning Places Community Programme, including an improved Places website and the new Places Analysis Tool (PAT).Developed as part of a long term partnership with Informed Solutions, Europeâs leading independent spatial systems consultancy, these latest developments build upon the previous success of the programme, which in December 2008 won the Whitehall and Westminster World Civil Service Award for Knowledge Management. Their successful delivery once again proves the success with which CLG and Informed Solutions have defined a strategy and architecture for Places which enable it to underpin effective cross-government data exchange and analysis. Louise Day â the Places Programme Manager at CLG â commented, âThe effective partnership between CLG, Informed Solutions and the user community has ensured another successful delivery within the Places programmeâ.The Places Database is an innovative national geographic data warehouse that integrates community-related knowledge and a wide range of statistics around the concept of place, drawing information and evidence from across government through the use of open standards and interfaces. It currently manages the details of, and associations between, over 70,000 places in England and Wales, comprising some 4,000 datasets. Additionally, it manages and monitors over 14,000 targets related to these places.A flexible and open service orientated architecture, which integrates a range of leading-edge shared services, has enabled a family of user friendly web sites to be built, providing audience-specific analytical windows onto Placesâ vast data holdings. These applications place detailed and flexible analysis at the fingertips of policy analysts, delivery partners and the general public, and are extensively used for policy analysis and performance management. The flexibility of the Places framework means that genuine engagement with user communities is a fundamental part of the development of any new application, ensuring that each analytical window is designed according to the requirements of its users.As Seth Finegan - Informed Solutionsâ Director of Consulting Services â explains, âthe result is better informed policy development and decision making, by a user base that is empowered to influence how it interacts with and uses national, regional and local informationâ.The latest analytical window to be delivered is the PAT, which provides users from across government and the general public with a powerful and intuitive tool to explore national information relating to Local Area Agreements (LAAs). LAAs were introduced in 2008 as a means to monitor local area performance, and underpin the apportionment of some Â£340 million nationally. âFor the first timeâ Seth Finegan added, âpeople can view and explore the national LAA picture, enabling better understanding and more consistent analysis of local performance, and facilitating more effective performance management of LAAsâ.The PAT builds upon the range of polished analytical outputs offered by the other Places web sites, integrating the latest Web 2.0 technologies to enable a level of interactive analysis, through a web interface, that would previously have been the preserve of more specialist desktop analysis tools. As stated by Louise Day, âPAT represents a step change in usability for national government data systemsâ.Additionally, new and improved functionality has been added to the public-facing Places web site. The new features include an âIndicator Discoveryâ function which enables users to quickly find specific information through key word searches, making Placesâ substantial data holdings more accessible. Other improvements have been made to the web siteâs mapping, charting and reporting functionality, enabling more intuitive, flexible and in-depth presentation and analysis of data.Deputy-Director David Fry, Head of the Geographical and Statistical Evidence Division at CLG, is giving a talk at this yearâs AGI Conference entitled âHarnessing the value of Place for better government and empowered communitiesâ, which will provide more information on the Places framework from a policy perspective.For more information contact us on:Tel: 0161 942 2000 or email [email protected]
Author: Paul Collins
Bio.: Business and Client Services Consultant.
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The Places Community and analytical windows
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