Observatory map featured in top 10 government data visualisations and applications

An interactive map produced by the Observatory has been featured in The Guardian’s top 10 government data visualisations and applications.

Screenshot: interactive map showing Jobseeker's Allowance claimant rates in the West Midlands

This map shows the proportion of the working age population claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in each local authority in the West Midlands. You can also compare data for each local authority with the West Midlands and UK averages.

The map is based on the latest employment and unemployment data released monthly by the Office for National Statistics. The Observatory analyses this data as part of its work in monitoring the impact of the recession on the West Midlands.

As well as local authority, we also show the data in maps for:

The 10 data visualisations and applications were highlighted by the Guardian Datastore on the same day the government publicly launched the data.gov.uk site. This new site aims to unlock innovation and encourage data-led decisions by opening up public sector data for reuse in innovative applications and websites.

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Interactive maps help monitor recession geospatially

We’ve produced a set of interactive maps to monitor the impact of the recession at different geographical levels in the West Midlands:

  • By West Midlands Local Authority
  • By West Midlands Census ward
  • Neighbourhoods in the Rural Regeneration Zone

The maps show Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant rates (the proportion of the working age population claiming JSA), which gives an indication of unemployment.  The maps help us to see how the recession is affecting different areas.

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Interactive map of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants

We’ve produced an interactive map to show how Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant rates are changing across the region in response to the recession.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is the main unemployment benefit for working age people who are out of work.

Screenshot: interactive map showing Jobseeker's Allowance claimant rates in the West Midlands

Open the interactive map (requires Adobe Flash Player)
Download the dataset (XLS, 25kb)
Source: Office for National Statistics, claimant count (not seasonally adjusted)

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Local information systems resource pack

InstantAtlas logoIf you’re interested in local information systems, and how mapping and data visualisation can inform planning of public services, have a look at GeoWise’s local information systems resource pack.

The resource pack pulls together lots of seminars, case studies and reference documents based on implementations of InstantAtlas, a geographic data visualisation tool, across local government and NHS organisations in England, Scotland and Wales in 2008.

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Sandwell… I know it so well!

Sculpture in West BromwichOur regional resource catalogue has grown rapidly during the past twelve months and it now provides fully searchable access to over 2500 datasets, reports, web sites and other intelligence available. It’s one of the – if not the – most comprehensive catalogues of West Midlands data and intelligence available.

With coverage growing all the time, we are improving the content of the database all of the time. One of our more recent additions is the Research Sandwell website which is a ‘must-visit’ for anyone looking for data and intelligence on the Sandwell area. Continue reading