Greater London Authority team launches City Datastore

Secure data sharing platform set up as a ‘private twin’ of London DataStore for open data

The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) data team has launched a new CityDatastore platform for securely sharing data from a range of sources.

It has described the platform as a “private twin” of the London DataStore, providing a more regulated environment for sharing when there are legal, ethical or commercial reasons for not making the data open.

The platform has been developed with big data specialist Mastodon C as part of its Witan predictive data platform, and funded by the EU Sharing Cities Horizon 2020 programme.

Andrew Collinge in front of Tower BridgeWriting in a GLA blogpost, its assistant director Andrew Collinge (pictured) and colleague Paul Hodgson describe the CityDatastore as a tool for supporting London’s data ecosystem and public services.

It is based on an event-driven architecture with a central log of all transactions, and built with an open API, although it supports the manual uploading of files through a user interface and allows for data to be shared directly between systems. The team plans to add more features over the next 12 months, such as the ability to recognise and verify data schemas to build up “small standards” for sharing specific datasets.

Among the initial uses identified are support for the London Office of Data Analytics, air quality modelling – on which the GLA is collaborating with the Alan Turing Institute – and analysing crime and safety data under the SafeStats project.

Collinge and Hodgson also emphasise that the London DataStore will continue to be the place for open data about the city.

“In parallel with the City DataStore, we will continue to invest in adding both new open datasets and new features,” they say.

Earlier this year, Collinge told UKAuthority that the development of the City DataStore was drawing the lessons from pilot projects involving multiple boroughs, the first of which was directed at using data science approaches to identify homes that could be leased by rogue landlords to several tenants without having been properly registered.