Data story: How open data helped Santa


Each year I have to visit every home in Cambridgeshire. Is there anything you can do to help me plan my visits? Where are the most populated areas in the county, from the largest city to the smallest hamlet, which I must remember to visit?


If you follow this link:… you can find a spreadsheet which sets out all the wards of each district in our County and the number of people living in each ward.

I do hope this helps you plan your visit.


Many thanks for the helpful spreadsheet, yes that helps a good deal.

I was wondering, I’ve heard there are lots of new homes being built in Cambridgeshire.

Can you help me make sure I don’t miss any of the families who may have recently moved to a new build home in your area?


Yes, indeed if you use this link you can find a file setting out the new homes built recently in our area.

You can also use the API which is cfce3b17-a25a-496c-99c1-a98be0ae92f9 by pasting the text into your navigation bar, so you can download the data and combine with other information as you (and your elves) see fit.

An API is also known as the “Applicaiton Process Interface”. You can find the API on the “API tab” in Cambridgehsire Insight Open Data.

If you want to visualise your route, you can also find a map of the new homes built here:…


This is really helpful, many thanks.

Now, I know where people live and I can be sure not to miss newly built homes.

But as I have to park the sleigh somewhere and make sure the reindeer are safe while I deliver the presents, can you help me work out how much traffic there might be for us to negotiate on Christmas Eve?


Ah yes, well we publish traffic counts including a whole range of information about flows of traffic across Cambridgeshire.

If you click here: you can download a spreadsheet showing all the data you might need.

Again, there is an API at 2226e92b-41cc-451d-9262-a2ce251660b3

You use the API and add a little code, so you only get the information for Wednesdays (which is the day Christmas Eve falls on).

Here’s how to I’d write the code:…

The code is made up of two elements:

Do hope this all helps. With season’s greetings from Cambridgeshire Insight Open Data.


Many thanks once again, happy holidays!

From Santa.