Showing posts from February, 2017

Finding your Public Amenities in Northern Ireland

I was recently thinking back to last year’s ODI Belfast unConference where someone mentioned one of the smallest (and, by implication, the least useful) datasets available on their website [here] – the  list of 22 Bowling Pavilions in Belfast City. The question was ‘what can you possibly do with a list of 22 bowling pavilions?’ I seem to remember the suggestion that they might be useful in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse where they could be put to use as holding centres for the contaminated. I’m not a huge fan of the Zombie genre, but even I know that this approach will not end well. So … what do you do with a list of 22 Bowling Pavilions? This is a question that has been ticking away in the back of my head for a while now (wow … I really don’t have the richest internal life, do I?) … how do you use this kind of data in a useful way? Sure … I can build you a dashboard that shows all of their locations … but how is this of any use to anyone? As I’ve scoured the ODI website looking for…

European Testate Amoeba dataset: an interactive visualisation

I’ve recently been working with Dr Graeme Swindles (University of Leeds) and Dr Matt Amesbury (University of Exeter) on producing an interactive visualisation based on their European Testate Amoeba dataset.  Testate amoebae are microscopic, unicellular shelled protozoa that are abundant in a range of wetlands, including peatlands. Study of fossil testate amoebae allows for the reconstruction of ancient hydrological variability. Amesbury and Swindles were the lead authors of a group that published Development of a new pan-European testate amoeba transfer function for reconstructing peatland palaeohydrology in Quaternary Science Reviews (Volume 152, 15 November 2016) []. They placed their dataset in the public domain under a Creative Commons licence, allowing others access to reanalyse and re-examine their data, and incorporate it into future research. The dataset is presented as an Excel sheet and, the authors themselves admit, is difficult to comprehend. I’ve been…