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Mayor announces plan for Data for London platform

13/06/22
London cityscape
Image source: istock.com/heyengel

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £500,000 investment in a new Data for London platform.

It will be an iteration of the existing London Datastore with a new core to be built by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and extra functionality to take in real time data from sensors.

The plan is aimed at providing a central library for a vast amount of data held across the capital, making existing datasets easier to find, providing a default platform for sharing data, and supporting data analysis, modelling and the re-use of code.

It will be accompanied by the setting up of a Data for London Advisory Board, due to begin work in September, with members from public bodies, civil society and the private sector to drive the development of the platform.

The announcement highlighted the planned collection of data from air sensors and energy systems and the capacity to utilise emerging technology including artificial intelligence for forecasting.

New services and apps

It also pointed to how the platform could support the creation of new services and apps, and initiatives in a number of areas. It cited the examples of planning for electric vehicle charging points, energy management, crime reduction and community safety, transport and mobility, and planning for the night-time economy.

Theo Blackwell, chief digital officer for London and chair of the London Data Board, commented: “Data for London represents a major step forward in how our city links important data across public bodies and beyond for use by public servants, researchers, businesses and citizens themselves. It builds on London's recognised leadership in open data and innovative data enabled services which are improving London every day in big and small ways. 

“For the first time we are establishing a governance body to make sure the platform we create is as useful as possible, while ensuring that data sharing is as legal, ethical, and secure as Londoners expect it to be.”

Khan said: “This new infrastructure will build on the success of the London Datastore and continue improving the lives of Londoners – fuelling innovation, creating jobs and addressing the climate emergency, and putting data into the hands of those who can make a positive difference for London.”

The London Datastore has been in place since 2010 and currently holds more than 6,000 datasets to support numerous services, including the new Planning Datahub and the Infrastructure Mapping Application, which is used to co-ordinate work by utility companies.

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