Categories for an open-data catalogue for Brighton and Hove?

In advance of the next meeting of the Open-data Brighton and Hove Group on Wednesday, April 13, I thought it might be useful to analyse the categories/classifications of data adopted by a number of local authority “datastores”.

I have looked in detail at the approaches adopted by: Kent County Council; Lichfield District CouncilLondon Datastore; Manchester City Council; Trafford Council; and Warwickshire County Council. (Interestingly, – unlike in the United States – relies on tags and free-text search rather than structured categories.]

My analysis shows a total of 60 categories, including near-duplications (marked with an asterisk *). You can see the full analysis in a two-worksheet spreadsheet.

From these – and any other (?) – categories , I hope the Open-data Brighton and Hove Group will be able to agree a broad framework, appropriiate to the specific context of our city, that could form the basis for a data catalogue (albeit one that constitutes, at this stage, more of a wish list than a reality).

Once a framework is agreed, we could perhaps begin to identify the sub-categories into which datasets might be catalogued, eg Art and Culture/Libraries or Education/Schools etc.

Art and Culture
Benefits and Council Tax
Births, Marriages, Deaths
* Boundary/Area-based
* Boundaries
* Business and Economy
* Business Support and Licensing
Championing London
Children and Young People
* Community
* Communities and Neighbourhoods
Council Tax
* Crime
* Crime and Community Safety
* Crime and Public Safety
Customer Access
* Education
* Education and Learning
* Education and Schools
Elections and Democracy
* Employment
* Employment and Skills
* Environment
* Environmental Services
Events, Leisure and Tourism
* Financial Information
* Finance
Food Safety
General Information
Heritage and Culture
Jobs, Careers and Training
* Leisure
* Leisure and Culture
Local Democracy
News and Events
Parking, Travel and Roads
* Planning
* Planning and Development
* Recycling, Rubbish and Waste
* Recycling
Supplier Spend
Sustainable Environment
The Council and Democracy
* Transport
* Transport and Highways
Young People

About Greg Hadfield

Greg Hadfield is editorial director of Brighton & Hove Independent, a free weekly newspaper. He is a former Fleet Street journalist and internet entrepreneur (including Soccernet and Schoolsnet).
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6 Responses to Categories for an open-data catalogue for Brighton and Hove?

  1. Ady says:

    I like the idea of tagging working alongside formal categorisation – let the public define their own taxonomy.

    As far as the list of categories goes, is it not worth considering using a pre-existing taxonomy (perhaps with augmentation to cover non-local-government-related data, should there be a gap), such as the Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV)?

    • ODBH says:

      Hi Ady. The IPSV is certainly interesting and useful. Possibly within a broader top-level categorisation (?????). This is the sort of detail I’d be interested in us discussing at the ODBH meeting tomorrow (7.30pm at Western Front, Brighton).

  2. Paul Brewer says:

    Hi Greg

    I had a quick look at this and had a go at rationalising

    Also think there’s something to build out from at below (and there are others such as neighbourhood stats)
    Deprivation & income
    Economy & enterprise
    Education & skills
    Health & disability
    Housing & households
    Crime & community
    Access & transport
    Geographies & benchmarking

  3. Sue Korman says:

    I’m in favour of broader level top categorisations, despite the design qualms. It makes sense in the way that an index does. The alphabet does the work.

    The important thing is to have something that makes sense to those inputting whilst being as responsive as possible to what the user wants. It’s tricky to get right but it shouldn’t be in policy speak and it it should be flexible-tags and free text search are essential.As Emer said at CCBTN , it’s never perfect.

    • Ady says:

      We (as in Public-i) have a tool that may help – we use it internally in our applications to map user-speak (folksonomy) to formal taxonomies, enabling users to categorise and search in their terms, while people more interested in the formal categorisation get that view, too. The tool is rudimentary and in need of some TLC, but it might be worth considering..?

  4. Sue Korman says:

    That’s fascinating & would be incredibly helpful – would be happy to add the TLC! Hope to hear more later?

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