Since releasing our first linked datasets in February 2013, we have been looking at ways to improve access to our open data. On 30 April 2014, we will make some significant changes to our House Price Index (HPI) linked data and release two new beta test query systems, which will improve the way you can access it.
In July 2013, we released our HPI background tables as 4* linked data, accompanied by a number of CSV files and an Excel spreadsheet. Planned improvements to this dataset will soon allow you to link to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Ordnance Survey (OS) resources, which describe the regions we report monthly. These enhancements will increase the datasets rating to 5* standard, as defined by the W3C.
In response to customer feedback we have improved the end users access to our HPI and Price Paid Data (PPD), by developing a new download system within the Search the HPI tool and a new PPD Report Builder query based on our linked data. The ‘Search the HPI’ facility contains a number of enhancements including:
- a clickable map or an option to type the name of the area required, making it easier to identify search areas
- a regional hierarchy that helps identify the areas that we report on monthly
- the ability to download your results as CSV and/or Turtle data, or generate a report using the SPARQL query.
Andrew Trigg, Head of Data Programme said “we are continually working to improve the accessibility of our data, to enable citizens and organisations to reuse it to develop new ventures that have a positive impact on the wider economy. We want our end user’s journey to be simple and intuitive, so we will keep reviewing our tools to ensure we achieve this aim.”
So what does this mean for our current linked data users?
The improvements only relate to the HPI linked data. We have added new data items for ‘property type’ and we have reduced the precision of the numeric data held to two decimal points. The precision of the original data remains unchanged and can be downloaded from our website with “Search of the House Price Index”.
In order to standardise the region names, we have changed all names to lower case, so ’City-of-Plymouth‘ will change to ’city-of-plymouth‘ and Coventry to ’coventry‘. Unfortunately this will cause any saved SPARQL queries to fail, as they will no longer return a result. We would like to apologise for this but while working on the dataset improvements, we realised that the case we had used for regions did not meet current linked data guidelines and was inconsistent within both ours, and other datasets. To minimise disruption we decided to update the dataset definition in parallel with our new query and download systems.
We hope you will find the new Search the HPI facility and Price Paid Data Report Builder enhancements useful. Your feedback is valuable to us, so we would like to encourage you to share your views by calling 0800 678 1678 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.