Happy 9th Birthday to the London Data Store!

Jan 8, 2019 · In a blog written for the Smart London, GLA Chief Digital Officer Theo Blackwell looks at how the London Datastore has gradually evolved as driver of city-wide data collaboration and innovation.

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7 January marks the ninth birthday of City Hall’s London Datastore, a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital.

Published primarily to improve transparency and accountability and launched in January 2010​, it originally hosted some 200 datasets.

Today it is considered — together with TfL’s Unified API from 2014 — one of the first city-platforms of its kind to make public data open and accessible, and a marker of London as a leading smart city globally. (That’s all the more remarkable given that London’s open data ecosystem in 2009 had barely formed with the Future Cities Catapult and Open Data Institute not yet in existence).

The Datastore has also been through several iterations, improving its design and functionality — most notably in 2015 with a complete revision.

Today the Datastore is constituted of almost 800 datasets and 3,000 files (mostly excel or csv) available to download on open licence. ​Examples include population estimates, cycle flows​, house prices​, ambulance incidents​, crime rates​ or international visitor numbers, benefit claimants​, obesity prevalence​, school grades​ and number of fires​.

Its mission now, as when established, is to make London’s data accessible for all and encourage its use to fully realise the potential social, economic and environmental value it can bring.

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