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Data capture

Data design

Before producing data from an existing database, we review it for accuracy and completeness. This allows us to estimate the amount of work required to make it 'mappable'. For example, the file to be plotted may need to be updated with address data, or may contain significant gaps in a particular field which can be updated with reference to another data directory. This is often the way in which clients derive the most additional benefit from data capture.

By spending a relatively small amount of time working on this phase, it's possible to make significant efficiency savings downstream, and we encourage you to consider this. Typically, we are able to plot 80–90% of records on the first pass.

Data accuracy

For most purposes, we find that postcode level data is sufficiently accurate for mapping users and survey respondents. Once plotted, it's possible to aggregate up to any level of geography (typically ward, local authority or county level) for further analysis. We also have the capacity to map individual addresses if this is a client requirement, though this can take longer.

For data capture of facilities or events, clients may choose to map general location – in which case postcodes may be the most suitable reference – or the precise extent of a facility. In this case, we would use our extensive range of base-mapping data to 'snap' the site boundary to real world features such as building footprints and field boundaries

Data protection

The University is bound by the Data Protection Act 1998, and takes its commitment to confidentiality and data protection seriously. Our data processes and procedures are compliant with the University policy on data protection (available here) and client information is stored on secure servers.

We only work with data which our clients are comfortable to share. This means that we only use anonymised data for mapping, and we never publish individual-level data on our maps. On completion of a project, unless otherwise agreed, we return all data to you and provide evidence of deletion from our network on request.

Intellectual property

As with all our work on client databases, the intellectual property of captured GIS data remains with you. On completion of a project, unless otherwise agreed, we return all data to you and provide evidence of deletion from our network on request. We can supply data in any GIS format of your choice as a result of our access to the major proprietary software packages. You can arrange for us to store and maintain GIS data in order to conduct further analysis at a later date.

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