Geospatial data

SUDS (Spatial Urban Data System) Urban Indicators

UBDC is currently developing a Spatial Urban Data System, comprising various spatial data that describes facets of cities. Underpinning these objectives is the definition of a multi-dimensional geographic database containing spatially and temporally indexed real and synthetic small scale data that cover a wide range of social, economic, natural, built-environment and physical infrastructure aspects.

Initial work has focused on the development of indicators, based on ISO 37120, the international standard for quality of life indicators intended to outline key measurements to evaluate service delivery and quality of life, and are designed to help cities assess performance and measure progress over time to improve the quality of life. UBDC’s open indicators cover fourteen built up areas in England, Wales and Scotland at 2011 Census output area level. Four economic indicators are derived from the 2011 Census and cover percentage of persons in full-employment; youth unemployment, and unemployment rates of both economically active and inactive. A green spaces indicator shows the percentage of Census 2011 output area that is covered by green space, with data derived from the European Environment Agency's European Urban Atlas. We are currently producing interim transit availability data and indices, as well as developing labour market and health care accessibility indicators. 

  • Data owner: Urban Big Data Centre
  • Coverage (geographical): 14 built-up areas in the UK: Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton-Portsmouth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Belfast.
  • Who can use this data? Anyone 
  • Format: CSV or GIS shapefiles. We are also developing a process for access to a web-based GIS solution so that users can map and visualise the data using our web services.
  • More information: Table 1: Examples of small area urban indicators from SUDS programme (Word)

LiDAR: High resolution image data of the Earth's surface

LiDAR — Light Detection and Ranging — is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth. LiDAR data is extremely accurate 3D data generated from sensors on the ground or on airplanes. These accurate models have uses for local government planners who need detailed structural plans of the city. LiDAR is also regularly used by archaeologists, computer scientists, and civil engineering companies.

  • Data owner: LiDAR
  • Coverage (geographical): Glasgow
  • Coverage (time): 2003
  • Who can use this data? Only academic research users

One example of using LiDAR data is our video of movement patterns in Glasgow City Centre:


Credits: This data visualization was created by the Glasgow School of Art's Digital Design Studio on behalf of the Urban Big Data centre. Data used in addition to the iMCD project data includes: Lidar's data from 'blue sky' and satellite imagery from EU Spacing Imaging.