A look inside our toolbox

At ODI Leeds we're all about making a difference through what we do best - developing tools that can make everyone's lives a little easier. Over the years we've developed a good handful of tools and now we have made a home for them our own digital toolbox so everyone can easily find and use them.

The tools

At this point in time our toolbox splits our tools into a few sections:

Analysis and visualisation tools

These tools are hands on and allow you to directly put in and use your data. Using these tools you can:

  • Clean your CSVs and convert them into JSON files
  • Easily translate postcodes into latitude and longitude or indices of multiple deprivation deciles
  • Build your own hexmaps and access our customisable data mapper

Exploratory tools

These are highly customisable, interactive tools that we created to help answer a variety of questions about specific sets of data and topic areas. For now the tools in this section let you explore council business rates, local growth funding, audience demographics by postcode, flight emissions and Northern Powergrid's most recent potential future scenarios.

Visual tools

The visual tools in this section are similar to our exploratory tools, just a little less customisable. And let's be honest we have built a lot of tools like this - That's why the work showcased here is only a few good examples of visualisations, hexmaps, dashboards and other mapping tools we've built, for example to put COVID-19 data into context. You can find a lot more great examples on our projects page.

Community tools

A lot of our tools are made for clients but we also love making tinkering for our community, which we are able to dedicate time to because of our Sponsors support. This grouping contains everything from tools for schools (like a free meals mapper) to bus route evaluations and maps visualising local environment.

The use

Tools are only good if they're actually useful and we're happy to say that people in and outside our community are working with them.

For example, the hexmap builder helps people easily develop, use and share their map layouts as hexJSONs. A few good examples of this are the other versions of our UK constituency visualisation. It's good to see that our tools are actually making people's lives easier.

Through some snooping on github we also discovered that a French farming equipment company (GB Group) and a tutorial on website and webmap building use our CSV to GeoJSON tool. This is exciting because we have never worked with them so this means they have found our tool online - loved it - and are consistently using it in their processes now. That's the power of open data and being #radicallyopen. And that's everything we've ever wanted! It's good to know that the tools we build actually make a difference beyond the reach of our community.

These are just the tip of the iceberg examples and we can't wait to see what you'll use our tools for! So make sure to tag us on Twitter when you're posting about your work :)