News &

Land data needs and datasets (open google sheet – contributions welcome!)

Tom Kenny

This open spreadsheet sets out the information needs of land-based groups and the datasets that can help them. Most of the datasets included are open data. New contributions welcome!

Click here to access the spreadsheet

What is this resource?

We are publishing this resource as part of our work on increasing access to information on land for common good land users. It is a list of some of the main information needs of the groups we work with, matched with a list of datasets we think can help meet them.

We developed it based on a series of interviews we’ve conducted over the past 6 months, as well as a lot of trawling the internet! We talked to groups including community and regenerative food growers, community woodlands, parks managers, community renewable energy projects. We also talked to experts in the organisations releasing the data, in the data science community, and developers.

Why did we create it

Through our research we found out that:

  • No one has a handle on anything close to all the data out there relevant to the groups we work with. Some individuals and resources hold deep expertise in data held by particular organisations, or in particular areas like climate, soil or flooding, but this rarely extends much more broadly.
  • Land data is rarely coded or categorised based on its potential uses. Trying to find data that is relevant to your objectives therefore often requires knowing where to look, having lots of time and desperate keyword searching. We realise the needs and uses we’ve focused on aren’t relevant to all potential users, but they should represent a large and diverse set of groups.
  • Most of the data in this list is almost exclusively used by academics and government. Innovative businesses are starting to use more of it, but social sector organisations have almost no access to it or even know it exists

Having done all this work, we want to make sure as many people as possible benefit from it. Just getting the data out there and in use is a major goal of this project. We have exciting plans to help groups get better access to this data, but more than anything we just want to make sure that it is helping them produce social, environmental and economic value.

Developing the resource

We’d really welcome any suggestions or edits for the list. We’re still finding and adding new datasets all the time, so we’re sure there are lots left to discover.

We aim to continue developing this resource – possibly by turning it into a Wiki. If you have an idea for using this data, or a suggestion on how to improve the resource, please get in touch –

Disclaimer: We do not pretend to be experts on all of this data. Many a career has been dedicated to understanding how to work with and interpret small sections of this list. Please do not judge mistakes too harshly, but instead dedicate your energies to fixing them!

You can access and comment on the spreadsheet by following this link.



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