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Making Sense of the Census: One Year On with the Census Aggregate Information Resource Demonstrator (CAIRD)

Presenter 1
Justin Hayes
MIMAS, University of Manchester
Presenter 2
Rob Dymond
MIMAS, University of Manchester

As previewed at IASSIST08, the CAIRD project is utilising developments in structured XML (SDMX and DDI) to create an online service combining, advertising and providing data and metadata generated from UK 2001 Census aggregate outputs in open-standards, machine-readable ways to increase their usability, and facilitate advances in application development. The primary aim of CAIRD is to encourage adoption of a similar approach by UK census agencies for the UK 2011 Census by demonstrating the potentials of this approach. As of November 2008, CAIRD is beginning to produce some exciting outputs, with more in the pipeline by IASSIST09! A prototype web service is already delivering previously impossible search and exploration capabilities based directly on dataset information content; a major improvement on browsing traditional census tables. We are pleased to report substantial interest from, and collaboration with UK census agencies. CAIRD has strong relevance to the IASSIST09 theme of Mobile Data and the Life Cycle through demonstration of the benefits that this approach can bring to data sharing, flexibility and overall usability; prerequisites for a mobile, Web 2.0 world. It also identifies a need for the approach to be incorporated and considered prospectively at all stages of the data life cycle in order to fully realise its benefits.

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