So here’s a fact worth knowing: 90 per cent of the data ever created has been generated over the past two years. In London, most of the data collected by the city is available, for free, through the London Datastore – which has been mined by everyone from researchers to app developers (most notably, Citymapper) since its launch four years ago.
Future Cities Catapult, a cities innovation centre, has put over 200 of the Datastore’s datasets to use in a new interactive map. In an attempt to “group neighbourhoods based on how we live – not where we live”, researchers used factors like age, dwelling type, passports held, car ownership and crime levels to create eight categories of Londoners and plot them geographically.
The groups have somewhat uninspiring names – Whereabouts 1, Whereabouts 2, etc – but each is instantly recognisable. Take Whereabouts 3, the yellow group, who mostly live at the edges of the city in areas like Hornchurch and Uxbridge. They’re the most elderly grouping and are the most likely to own a car and home. In these areas, crime is low, but health is poor. This diagram shows the group’s scoring on different factors compared to the London average (the area shaded in gray):