How to Find Datasets by Area

DCLG’s open linked data site, OpenDataCommunities, offers a variety of ways to find data. This guide describes how to find an individual dataset by searching or browsing by area. Other guides are available for working with data in a dataset once you've found one you're interested in.


If you know the place name, or GSS code, of the area we’re looking for then you can enter this in the search box. Go to the toolbar at the top of the homepage and hover the search tab.;

Browsing by Area Hierarchy

To browse the data by the hierarchy of administrative areas, go to the explore tab in the toolbar at the top of the homepage.

Select explore ‘By Area’. This will take us to the following page which displays both

  • a diagram of areas in hierarchical order
  • An exhaustive list of area types

Areas in hierarchical order

Area Types

In this user guide example, we’re searching for data about homelessness, specifically the number of households accepted as homeless across different authorities and all ethnicities.

To get to this example data, you need to select the kind of area you are interested in from the diagram. In this instance, pick English lower tier authorities.

Selecting English Lower Tier Authorities will take you to an alphabetically ordered list of English Lower tier Authorities.

Select the data tab to find datasets which mention these authorities.

Datasets here are ordered alphabetically. We know we want data about homelessness so we need to load more rows to view that option.

Now we can view the homelessness acceptance by ethnicity dataset.


  1. Search by names or codes of areas. Or to browse the data by area, go to the Explore tab in the toolbar at the top of the homepage and select By area.
  2. Select an option from the areas displayed in the diagram or the list of area types.
  3. At this stage, we have a list of area types. To get to datasets which include these authorities select the data tab.
  4. Datasets here are ordered alphabetically. Select Load More Rows to expand the list.
  5. Select the dataset of interest.

To continue exploring our datasets, return to

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