Mapping events from Visit Britain


We reviewed as many of the provided datasets as possible, looking for common data points such as people, events or places on which we could do a linking exercise. We drew a blank on this, and instead did a mapping exercise based on NGR co-ordinates.

We converted 7,000+ events from Visit Britain into a map layer, expressed as a set of points, which forms part of a strategic mapping view of the U.K., which combines points representing facilities with statistical data such as demographics and population density.

The value of this exercise was what we learnt about the realities of working with spreadsheet data. We saved the data as a CSV file, then used a converter program to map this to XML. This allowed us to drop data we did not need, and re-format other data (specifically NGR references) into the POINT() format required by the target application. We then converted the data back to CSV, uploaded it, wrote a custom schema for it and imported it into the mapping application. This process took about four hours.

We had issues with quotation marks in the CSV data (which can be confused with field delimiters) which caused errors in mapping the data to XML, and with (0, 0) references.

Chris Foulston and Richard Light

Ideas for taking this project forward

Estimated costs for taking this project forward

About the data used for this project

Visit Britain events data. General issues about providing data as spreadsheets are noted above. We were surprised that an events data resource had no information on when the events happened. There is an obvious case for having separate venue data, and linking events to it.

Created at

Rewired State: Culture

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