Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Big Society

Thursday 18 October 2012, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Dr Stephen Dobson


The Big Society is described by the Cabinet Office as being "about helping people to come together to improve their own lives. It's about putting more power in people's hands - a massive transfer from Whitehall to local communities". Whilst the democratisation of space, encapsulating the rights of people to shape urban life, is argued by some to be a basic right - do the spatial tools, and more importantly the skills and educational framework exist to support this 'massive transfer of power'? This talk illustrates recent work carried out by local authorities in South Yorkshire to improve the democratisation of geo-demographic data and increase usability to all stakeholders via the Local Area Statistics Online Service (LASOS) project. This online data service aims to support a greater level of spatiality in local decision-making and, in doing so, raises significant questions about our progress toward delivering accessible Geographic Information Systems.


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