Land Registry has been praised for having a “great culture for open data” as the winners of our first open data challenge collected their prizes.

Search engine Adzuna and software developer Dan Hilton received cheques for £3,000 for their innovative uses of our price paid data.

Both winners said the creation of their concepts depended on the data being available free of charge and easily accessible via the Land Registry website.

Speaking at the prize-giving event, Open Data User Group Chair Heather Savory said anyone with a standard laptop could become “the next Google” by exploiting such data, provided government made it freely available.

Heather Savory discussing the benefits of Open Data

Heather Savory discussing the benefits of Open Data

Ms Savory, whose group acts as an independent adviser to government ministers, said she constantly referred to Land Registry as being at “the top of the tree” in releasing open data.

“There’s a great culture here for open data,” she said. “You are right at the front of the organisations we are working with.”

Director of Commercial & Customer Strategy Eddie Davies said the competition was a measure of how far Land Registry had come in terms of open data.

“The quality of the successful entries was remarkably high and proves that creativity can be harnessed into developing practical tools which can have a positive impact on the UK economy,” he said.

Adzuna's Jenna Brown presented with her prize by Andrew Trigg

Adzuna’s Jenna Brown presented with her prize by Andrew Trigg

Adzuna’s idea uses Land Registry price paid data to enhance the information provided to consumers searching its database of millions of classified adverts.

Dan Hilton presented with his prize by Customer Service Director Eddie Davies

Dan Hilton presented with his prize by Director of Commercial & Customer Strategy Eddie Davies

Mr Hilton’s draws on the same dataset to enable firms selling online to prompt customers to amend out-of-date delivery addresses.

He said the great virtue of publishing data for others to exploit was that “something you think is valueless, someone else may think is gold. My encouragement to you is to go as far as you can.”

Full historic price paid data now available

All Land Registry’s historic price paid data of more than 18 million sales is now available to download for free as part of our open data programme.

The data released last month included records of sales at full market value lodged for registration since January 1995.

Since the first tranche of data was released in June this year, more than 114,000 files have been downloaded.


Gavin Curry
By Gavin Curry,
Editor at HM Land Registry