Tuesday 29 April 2008

CommuterView, ONS, etc.

I got back to work after a week away and in my mail I discovered a new DVD from ONS. This was the CommuterView DVD I had been waiting for. What is it? It's an interactive flow mapping tool showing all commuting flows in the UK from the 2001 census, down to LSOA level. It's very interesting and is similar to the kinds of things I've previously done with migration data.

Another important development is that from April 1, 2008 the Office for National Statistics became the executive agency of the new UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). The UKSA is accountable to parliament rather than a government minister (as ONS was). The aim of this is to restore public trust in the quality and integrity of official statistics. They also have some pretty new logos.

Yesterday I received an interesting e-mail from a PhD student at MacQuarie University in Australia asking about flow mapping techniques, but they are looking at communication linkages in settlements in Bangladesh rather than migration/commuting in the UK. I'm going to try and be of help as it sounds interesting and any kind of global communication on flow mapping is surely a good thing.

What else? I've also been exploring the new tools available in Google spreadsheets and the 'heatmaps' in particular. These could be very useful tools indeed but I couldn't find a quick and easy way to resize my maps and there are still quite a few restrictions. Not a replacement for doing similar things in GIS but an interesting development. Still waiting on my new copy of Camtasia Studio 5. I'm working with 3 at the moment and plan to produce a 'how to use Camtasia' demo eventually - this will involve a screencast of screecast software. This is possible if you have two separate versions installed, just as it is possible to run Excel 2003 and 2007 on the same machine, for example.