Using the Data Cart tool
Welcome to the data cart tool, a powerful and easy-to-use way to make your own custom selections and combinations of our data. If you've ever shopped online, you'll be comfortable with how it works:
- Browse around the site, finding the data and places you're interested in.
- Click the 'add to cart' button to store items you want to keep
- Edit, refine and organise your selections
- When you're ready, save the cart to download all your data in one simple file to use in your favourite spreadsheet programme, GIS system, or stats package.
You'll find three kinds of data on this site: files, linked datasets and geographic areas. Files can be downloaded in the regular way - the data cart is for linked datasets and for geographies.
Think of filling your cart as building up a spreadsheet: you'll need to add both rows and columns. What you'll end up with is a spreadsheet which cross references statistics (columns) against geographical areas (rows).
The columns are slices of linked data. It's easy to add these to your cart as follows:
- Navigate to the dataset you're interested in.
- Choose values for the dataset dimensions to focus in on the precise data you need. Keep going until you have narrowed your view down to a 2 dimensional spreadsheet view.
- Click the header of any column, and notice the pop-up menu. Select 'add column to cart'.
- Congratulations, you've just added your first column of data!
Notice that you can add multiple columns of data from the same spreadsheet view, or you can navigate to other spreadsheet views of the same dataset and add columns of those, _or_ you can navigate to any other dataset and add columns from its spreadsheets. This is the power of the cart: to bring together data from anywhere across the site.
The rows in your spreadsheet are geographical resources. Adding these is just as straightforward.
- Navigate to a geographic area of interest (tip: try the option 'Explore > By area') in the menu at the top of the page.
- Notice the buttons with a cart icon and a 'plus' symbol. Roll over a button to preview what it will do: for your convenience, you can add geographies in bulk, or individually.
- Click the icon and observe that the areas selected have been added to your cart.
Now you can add data and areas to your cart, you know everything you need to make your own custom spreadsheets.
Getting the most from the cart
Once you've saved your cart, you'll see that it changes in several ways:
- You can download its contents in CSV format, to open in your favourite spreadsheet application.
- It has a permalink. You can bookmark this link to come back to your cart anytime, as well as sharing it with colleagues or on social media.
- It is no longer editable. This is to ensure that the permalink always works. If you want to carry on adding to your cart, you can load the contents of this (or any) saved cart into your live cart simply by clicking the 'add to cart' buttons on the saved cart view.
Pro tip: because you can add all the geographies and all the data separately and with a single click, one use for carts is to save, for example, a 'geographical areas only' cart with regions you frequently work with. Bookmark this, and then in future whenever you need to load up the areas, they're only a click away.
I can't find the cart
My work from yesterday has disappeared
Your cart is emptied when you close your browser, or if your session is inactive for a long period of time. Remember to save your cart before closing your browser.
There are gaps in my spreadsheet
We don't hold data for every possible combination of geography and statistics - for instance, particular information may not be available at all geographic levels. Your cart output shows everything that we have in our datastore, but it's very likely that you may see 'gaps' where no data were available.
What's the licence?
This is an important question, and one which you must consider if you plan to re-use the data. Most but not all of the data on this site are provided under open licences, but the cart allows you to combine data in many ways, and it is your responsibility to verify the licence of each dataset and geography you use.