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Geographic data

About the research

Full project title: Linkage to geographic data

High up view of houses in a villageGeographical variables provide information about the characteristics of an area. They include indicators such as area deprivation, geo-demographics, unemployment, weather, pollution, access to services and migration distance measures based on residential addresses. The project explored how geographical variables can be linked to longitudinal data, and explored the types of data that are available.

A report was produced to help researchers interested in how best to enrich their analyses with contextual information about the areas in which longitudinal study participants live. The team also worked to convert specific cohort members’ addresses into geographic coordinates in a non-identifiable way (a process known as geocoding) to enable the study members’ data to be linked with this contextual geographic data. This geocoded data is now available through the UK Data Service (see below).

Professor Chris Dibben

Research lead

Professor Chris Dibben (University of Edinburgh)

Studies used

Research outputs

Geocodes available through the UK Data Service

Resource reports


  • Using geographical data in longitudinal studies: Value, challenges & examples
  • Geographical data in cohort and longitudinal studies

Read about other CLOSER data linkage projects.