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London launches open data cultural map

The collated data on the capital's cultural locations is hoped to support local authorities, property developers and associations develop existing clusters and build creative infrastructure

The Mayor of London’s Office has launched an online interactive map of the capital’s cultural locations to support the development of existing and new clusters as part of its open data strategy.

From cultural sites such as pubs and LGBTQ+ venues, to music recording studios, community centres and local libraries, the map proposes to “broaden understanding” of the city’s creative clusters and the spread of such locations across London.

According to the City Hall, the map is intended to give property developers, businesses, local authorities and cultural institutions more data to help them develop creative spaces in the capital.

As well as displaying where cultural infrastructure is located, the map highlights other information such as areas of risk, proximity to transport links or where people live, and suggests missing cultural infrastructure.

It is hoped the map will provide a current picture of openings, closures and other information relevant to the cultural locations listed. The idea is that citizens, as well as stakeholders in the cultural scene, will help update the map. An online toolkit with resources to support utilisation has also been released.

The map has been published as part of London’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan, which consolidates existing datasets such as listed buildings with new data compiled by City Hall. It is also part of a push led by Theo Blackwell, London’s chief data officer, around how the city sees design, data, connectivity, skills and collaboration.

“This new data will help local authorities hone their policies to support creative communities and sustainable growth,” he said.

“It will help planners give more informed advice about local areas and will support developers to respond to the city’s existing cultural infrastructure – complementing what already exists and meeting genuine demand,” Blackwell said about the new cultural map.

“The map forms part of London’s commitment to open data, mobilising the city’s data for public benefit,” he added.

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