Whatever happened to upmystreet?

For many years one of the most interesting websites that I used in explaining the power of the Internet was one called upmystreet.  You could input the name of a place, or most usefully a postcode, and find out useful data about the particular place.  It was a nice teaching tool, because with a group of students I could ask for a few volunteers to tell me their postcode and watch while I found out what was their streets were like.  It was a good illustration of what I term universal access – the effect that the Internet made information available to everybody when in the past it had been the preserve of specialists, in particular the ACORN classifications, which have been used for many years to .  Because it combined a range of data sources, it helped to bring to life the complexity of knowledge, and the intricacy of the picture that you might hope to build if you were finding out about an area which you don’t know well.

However upmystreet has now disappeared and the website redirects to Zoopla.  Now I’ve blogged about Zoopla before, and there’s a lot ot like about it, notably the web 2.0 characteristics that it combines data from different sources, and that it invites users to contribute and to refine the data.  It’s a better route than Google streetview if you want to find the street view of a particular address – just choose the address and click over the streetview tab which appears for a property.  It gives you a model for calculating home values and is quite transparent about how this is done.  It creates a Z-index for a particular postcode which is just a simple bottom-line figure which tells you the average value of each home in the postcode area.

But the Z-index is also afflicted by the same weakness as many other simple bottom-line figures: it doesn’t tell you about the area in any depth.  There are more detailed statistics about price trends, but Zoopla is unashamedly a property price website and the detailed data is all about house prices and rental values.  Click over ‘local info’ and you will get some neighbourhood statistics, but these are ones which are widely available and which refer to a large area – in London to entire London boroughs with populations of perhaps 300,000.  Again, as I’ve mentioned before in my blog, many London boroughs cover a diverse range of areas and the average statistics for the whole borough are fairly meaningless.

As far as I can tell there’s now nothing on the web which offers you the sort of demographic information that was once available at a postcode level.  Which seems a pity.

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7 Responses to “Whatever happened to upmystreet?”

  1. Jessica Bailey Says:

    I know this is an old post but just sharing this lovely and very pretty website which brings together census info at a street level in a very attractive form http://www.streetcheck.co.uk please take a look

    • martinrich Says:

      Thanks Jessica – presumably you are involved with this site but it is an illustration of how people can build their own sites on the data which is now available.

  2. Graham Dewhirst Says:

    Another new site (that I have been involved in) provides an insight into the property market, schools & crime at an individual postcode level. There are similar sites out there but all seem to just provide the information at an area level which, as you allude to in the blog, is diluted in the larger cities. The site is http://www.locationcounts.co.uk and detail is truly provided for every postcode in England & Wales with more limited data available for Scotland.

  3. Martin Says:

    http://www.locationcounts.co.uk does not appear to be working (at least not on my Mac). http://www.streetreviewuk.com/ and https://www.findahood.com/locations are possible alternatives.

  4. Graham Dewhirst Says:

    The locationcounts.co.uk URL should work (I’ve just checked and the site is up, working and has only been down during data updates over the past few months)… did you get an error? Many thanks, Graham.

  5. martinrich Says:

    Graham,

    I’ve had a go (by the way the Martin who posted earlier about not getting it to work on a Mac isn’t me). I’m getting through to the site without problems but found that the Javascript on the site doesn’t seem to work as it should. So I can put in a postcode and click over ‘find’ but don’t get through to the information. I’ve been using both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome on a Windows 7 laptop

    Martin

  6. Graham Dewhirst Says:

    Thanks Martin for the feedback …. would you be willing to have a brief call so that I can better understand the issue? Everything should be ok so I’d like to get to the bottom of this. If you’re ok to do that then please contact me via e-mail graham.dewhirst@challengelogic.net and we can take it from there

    Graham

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