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The Development of a Web-based Interface to Census Interaction Data

University of Leeds, United kingdom

Key words: Interaction Data, Population Geography, Migration, Interfaces

Spatial interaction data sets in the UK (such as migration and journey to work flows) are often under-exploited by potential users. One of the main reasons for this is the difficulty that users have in understanding and using existing software that has been targetted primarily at those who have expert knowledge of the data.

One of the projects funded by the ESRC Census Development Programme is the creation of a web-based interface to the interaction data sets created by the 1981, 1991 and 2001 censuses. These data, known as the Special Migration Statistics and the Special Workplace Statistics, are both large and complex data sets for which it is necessary to develop improved, easier to use and more powerful software systems for data extraction and analysis.

This paper outlines the current state of development of a new extraction interface called WICID that is being developed for use on the Internet. The current structure of the interface is explained and use of the WICID system is demonstrated using 1991 Census data.

Although the system is in the early stages of development (the project commenced on 1 February 2000), it is intended that facilities will be available to aggregate flow data to new geographies in a flexible manner and to allow the user to generate various indices and statistics related to interaction data. It is also intended that the system will be flexible enough to allow users to load their own migration data. WICID will therefore be of interest to many geographers interested in the quantitative analysis of flows between geographical areas.

The authors would welcome feedback on the basic stucture of the interface.