The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Colouring London

Colouring London is a web based Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) initiative, designed by the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL, and created in collaboration with Historic England.


22 August 2018

Colouring London

Colouring London is being developed using building footprint data kindly provided by Ordnance Survey and facilitated by the Greater London Authority. Colouring London will provide the first ever public resource, and first port of call, for data on the characteristics of London’s building stock. Its easy-to-use web platform, designed as a reproducible model, will allow information on every London building to be collected, collated, visualised and disseminated. Approximately 12 categories of data will be crowdsourced including building age, use, type size, designation status and rebuild history. The project will also create links with the National Heritage List for England, the Greater London Historic Environment Record, and the “Layers of London” initiative.

Colouring London Map

Collected data will be relevant to all those involved in the management, construction, planning and conservation of London’s fabric. Data visualizations will provide a free educational resource for residents and schools, and celebrate the richness and diversity of the capital’s buildings and of our collective knowledge of the present and past. The project also aims to harness, channel and highlight the vast body of untapped knowledge about the built fabric and its evolution, held within the conservation, historical research and community planning sectors. 

Colouring London builds on the growing involvement of the public in citizen science and in VGI projects such as OpenStreetMap, Galaxy Zoo and Penguin Watch. It is also inspired by the online trend for city age visualisations, created using property tax data; data to which access is restricted in the UK. Though its applications are potentially far reaching, its creation has been largely driven by the growing demand, particularly from those working in energy analysis and sustainable development, for information on the composition and long term dynamics of the building stock.

Colouring London has been developed alongside PhD research within the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The first stage is being funded by the Heritage Protection Commission’s fund run by Historic England.

To subscribe for updates on Colouring London, including news of the prototype as it launches for testing and an online exhibition about the project, visit the website.

Our Project Team

Project Supervision
Dr Adam Dennett

Project Direction, content design and partnerships
Polly Hudson

Platform Development
Tom Russell

Technical Advice
Dr Duncan Smith

Graphic Design/Colour Support
Louis Jobst and Tarn Hamilton

For enquiries regarding funding and partnerships please contact Polly Hudson. We are a small team so if you would like to comment on the site please refer any feedback and questions to our discussion threads.