How to draw your own Fusion table maps

Google Fusion tables are an excellent way to map data. They give you a means to create intensity maps showing any statistics you care to mention that vary regionally, such as crime, unemployment or age. Google Maps recognises a type of file called a KML file. To Google KML files are just sets of coordinates that make up a shape, but to us they can mark out London from the rest of the UK, wards in Bristol or the entire world’s borders.

Simon Rogers (a City visiting lecturer) has a handy bank of KML files, but if you can’t find the perfect one that suits your needs the answer might be to create it yourself. This post builds on Dane Watkins’s post here. For this example, we’re going to create a KML file of wards in Bristol (you’ll need a Google account for this). Continue reading “How to draw your own Fusion table maps”

Bristol PFI: my FOI request

clifton suspension bridge
Copyright Joe Dunckley. Available here, reproduced under Creative Commons

I followed the steps of the Fusion tables process in my last post with Bristol City Council. I put all the .csv files together into a single Fusion table, downloaded it as a spreadsheet and had a look at it.

What caught my eye was the large sums of money being paid out for Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects. There seem to have been three main recipients of private finance money from Bristol in 2012 – “Bristol PFI Ltd”, “Bristol PFI c/o CorLa Ltd” and “Bristol Schools Limited”.

There is also “Bristol LEP c/o CorLa Ltd” that received just shy of £12m for projects such as the amalgamation of Sea Mills Infant and Junior Schools, for which it was paid nearly £3.9m. Continue reading “Bristol PFI: my FOI request”