The WISERD Geoportal: A tool for the discovery, analysis and visualisation of socio-economic (meta-) data for Wales

Robert Berry, Gary Higgs, Scott Orford, Sam Jones, Richard Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The Wales Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) is an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional academic research group based in Wales, UK. One of the key objectives of WISERD is to develop a spatial framework that enhances a researcher's ability to discover socio-economic research data relating to Wales with the aim of encouraging collaborative research and re-use of existing data. This article describes the development of an online geoportal designed to meet this objective. Using free and open-source software (FOSS) components and services, a range of software tools has been developed to capture standards-compliant metadata for a variety of data sources. The geoportal is unique in that, in our review of over 120 geoportals worldwide, we have not previously encountered a geoportal dedicated to supporting quantitative and qualitative social science academic and policy research. A particularly innovative aspect of the geoportal has involved the building of a rich meta-database of government surveys, geo-referenced semantically-tagged qualitative data (generated from primary research), 'grey' data (e.g. from transcripts, journal publications, books, PhD theses) and Government administrative data. This article describes the challenges faced during the development of the WISERD Geoportal which can be accessed via
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105 - 124
Number of pages19
JournalTransactions in GIS
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • open source
  • geoportal
  • socio-economic meta-data
  • GIS


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