Colouring Cities Notes #1

Welcome to the Colouring Cities forum, if this is your first time here, and to this blog in particular! We’re planning to write reasonably frequent short updates here as we continue to work on Colouring London and increasingly with partners outside of London - in the UK and around the world.

Here are a few brief updates on what we’ve been up to recently.

Polly joined a meeting of the AI for Science and Government research group within the Alan Turing Institute, where there is interest in data and modelling around infrastructure and the built environment. Detailed modelling and simulation needs detailed data and clear visualisation, so there’s lots to think about how the Colouring Cities data platform could support or feed in to this kind of work.

Ed has been working on reproducible setup of both development and production environments for the codebase. The dev docs are revamped with a clear run through setting up the site code and its various dependencies.

Ed is also working on updating the bulk data loading process for building footprints, which will let us update to the latest data from Ordance Survey MasterMap, and make use of the open location and open linked identifier data that OS now publish.

Polly also discussed the Global Earthquake Modelling (GEM) building taxonomy, writing up GitHub issue #801 to map out how we can align our data collection with this taxonomy.

Mateusz recently wrote up options for translating the interface to multiple languages in GitHub issue #777 - this is one of our priorities as we look to evolve the code into a state where it’s possible to set up and configure a site for open data collection and publication in any city or region.

Tom wrote up a brief dive into how polygons get from the database to the map, and recorded an episode (coming soon) of the Code for Thought podcast which touched on Colouring Cities and the Software Sustainability Institute’s fellowship programme.

For developers interested in - or already working on - Colouring Cities sites, we’re planning a regular video call (more info) to discuss technical details and support collaboration around Colouring Cities research software.

London/Oxford/Kraków, March 2022