Find Me A Region

Description

"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital". - Aaron Levenstein - Some blogger who's the top result on Google for 'statistics quotes'

Statistics often don't represent the true nature of something, but sometimes they do. For example - a high death rate may mean a region's dangerous rather than just an anomaly in the data. Find Me a Region exploits this to help people find the best place for them to live.

Users can rate different criteria (such as death rate), as well as how important each criteria is to them. This is done at the moment by entering a positive, negative or zero integer for each criteria.

Diagram of way users rate criteria

Find Me a Region then compares the figure for each area with the national average, and awards it a 0 if the figures are a same, a 1 if the average is smaller and a -1 if the average is bigger. This number is then multiplied by the integer the user gave, giving a total score for that area for that factor. The scores for each region are totalled, and displayed to the user in map form, with the areas with the higher scores shaded more darkly.

Ideas for taking this project forward

It’s quite time-consuming for users to enter an integer for each factor. A better alternative would be to use JS to implement a sortable, drag and drop list. The algorithm used for rating each area is quite basic, and although it works reasonably well a better one would take into account distribution of the data, etc.

Estimated costs for taking this project forward

Quite cheap. The Javascript involved should be pretty simple if a framework (e.g JQuery is used) and the rest should be reasonably quick as well.

About the data used for this project

The data is mostly from the Regional Trends – Key Statistics publication by the National Statistics Office. It would be trivial to add more – it’s just stored in a MySQL database


Twitter: @harryrickards


Created at

National Hack the Government Day 2011

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