How do you search for geospatial data?

Interested in data? Complete our survey to help us understand how people like you search for geospatial data.

Earlier this year the ‘Data Discoverability’ project, sponsored by the Geospatial Commission, took some really positive steps towards making it easier to find and access location-based information (or ‘geospatial’ data) on the web by:

  • Publishing a standardised geospatial data catalogue on data.gov.uk for each of the Geo6* organisations, and;
  • Making a number of user-research based recommendations for data publishers and search tool providers.

What did our user research tell us?

  • The research gave us useful insight into the tools that people use to search for geospatial data, which include search engines (such as Google or Bing), non-domain specific data catalogues (such as data.gov.uk) and specialist geospatial portals (such as MEDIN).
  • The research also highlighted a number of areas we want to explore including what keywords or phrases are used to search for geospatial datasets and how this affects its discoverability.

What next?

The Geospatial Commission is now sponsoring the Geo6 to carry out further work to understand more about user behaviour. Our findings will influence how data publishers structure and describe their data. Over the next few months we will be carrying out further research, running user sessions, and analysing website data to inform our approach.

How can I get involved?

Help us understand how you search for geospatial data by completing a survey. It should take around 10 minutes to complete.

Or, if you’d like to take part in a structured user research interview please contact us at os.data@os.uk.

Related content

UK Hydrographic Office blog – Data Discoverability: Improving access to UK geospatial data

Ordnance Survey blog – Data Discoverability with Geo6

Ordnance Survey blog – Data Discoverability catalogues published

HM Land Registry blog – Making it easier to discover and use our data

Ordnance Survey blog – Geospatial Commission Data Discoverability – making geospatial data easier to find

Geospatial Commission blog – Geospatial Commission making geospatial data more accessible

*The ‘Geo6’, comprise of Ordnance Survey (OS), British Geological Survey (BGS), Coal Authority (CA), HM Land Registry (LR), UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).  These organisations were identified by the Geospatial Commission as being key holders/owners of geospatial data within Government.

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