Noggin’s Hub is a web-based platform for handling and analysing town centre data. Each Hub features a variety of charts, reporting and forecasting tools to help Town Centre and BID managers use data of all kinds within their local area.

This page documents the most recent updates to the Hub and connected services – newest first. All subscribers benefit from automatic updates, typically within 7 days of release.

May 2018 Updates

Phone sensors:

  • Further work to reduce bandwidth. Datagrams should now fit in the most restrictive LoRa packet configurations.
  • Sensor protocol now supports up to four channels (four methods of counting data) on an hourly basis.
  • Optimised server for receiving and processing this data using message queues.

Footflow app:

  • Improvements to estimation. App will now use multiple methods of estimation and choose the result with the highest confidence.

Footfall app:

  • % changes (benchmarks) are now editable, in case the PDF was unreadable or the provider is not supported.

Car Park app:

  • Improved support for cdmf/cedex portals.
  • Added ability to identify individual on-street parking bays and areas.
  • In/Out/Occupancy are now recorded independently.
  • Added provision for variable & configurable Capacity (work in progress…)

Property app:

  • App now reports if it thinks a property photo is out of date.
  • App can now incorporate valuations office data.
  • Square footage and rateable value are now shown where available.
  • Estate agents’ pages can now be added to properties.
  • Council planning permissions can be shown where available for individual properties.
  • Street-level data now reincorporated. Possible to filter by street again.
  • Overhaul of interface.
  • Improved performance & flow of photo uploading.
  • We now look at the photo’s metadata to work out when it was taken, and use this date to record the change.

Weather app:

  • Now shows sunrise and sunset for the town location. This is also shown in charts where relevant.

Charts app:

  • Now a major ‘user’ app. Charts can now be created and configured on-demand.

Dashboard app:

  • This is being wound down. Users are encouraged to embed charts in their existing websites, use a third-party dashboard provider or use a public-facing wiki.

General changes:

  • Now possible to set the aggregation (how hourlies figures are totalled) for daily and weekly charts.
  • Now possible to filter by hour, including over midnight.
  • If a % change is between -5 and 5%, it will no longer be coloured (eventually this will be configurable).

April 2018 Updates

Dataset app (provides bulk data analysis and editing):

  • Now has a ‘copy’ function to run large-scale unattended copies of data between two systems.
  • CSV Export option reinstated.
  • API now has concept of margins, which will be part of the statistical  confidence reporting I am working on.
  • Offset is no longer used. The client should calculate their own offsets and request this directly from the API.

Property app:

  • App will automatically focus on the BID Boundary, rather than the user’s location when first starting.
  • Property thumbnails are now generated more efficiently, should be faster with lower bandwidth needs.
  • Moved from leaflet to mapbox for map rendering. Amongst other things, 3D becomes a possibility!
  • Reinstated functionality in the editor.
  • Reports now only show A1-A5 when talking about retail.

Traffic app:

  • Added support for Highways England counter locations. Preliminary population from HE dataset is working.

Events app:

  • Fixed API issues with local timezone. API will now use portal-configured timezone by default, unless the request specifically determines a UTC offset.

Explorer app:

  • Now provides a weekly chart view.
  • Added support (not yet available in interface) for year on year.

General updates:

  • Where comparisons are used (e.g. 3% UP) the formatting should look much better on desktop and mobile.

March 2018 Updates

Explorer app:

  • Where forecasting (or some kind of infill) has been used, the colours of the chart will indicate this using a slightly lighter shade.
  • Removal of legacy dataset code. This will improve performance and mean we can incorporate more data quickly in future.

Footflow app:

  • Dwell has been removed for day-to-day reporting. This is no longer feasible using phone counting alone, and needs specific analysis to be effective.
  • Further work to prepare for separation from phone sensors.

Roadworks app:

  • Connection has now been made to the Elgin dataset (national roadwords API).

Highways app:

  • Added editor to allow relevant users to control which roads can be measured and simulated.

February 2018 Updates

Property app:

  • App can now create a report for the Springboard Vacancy surveys.
  • App now supplies a GeoJSON endpoint for GIS applications.
  • Added documentation to assist in property classifications, i.e. to fit with Springboard and LDC definitions of vacancies.

Geoviewer app:

  • New app for exploring geographical data in town centres.
  • Applied basic, customised stylesheets relevant for towns.
  • Native support for GeoJSON added.
  • By default, this app will look for BID or town centre boundaries and show them on relevant overlays.

Footfall app:

  • Now uses new dataset API for better performance.
  • Improved connectivity to Springboard APIs, should improve refresh rates and reduce bandwidth.
  • Now parses Springboard weekly PDFs directly, so we can extract % changes from regional and national benchmarks.
  • Added CSV import for rapid transfer of data from third-party sources.

Explorer app:

  • This is a generic app for exploring time-based data in charts.
  • Various popups added to support casual week-on-week analysis.
  • Multiple timezone support has been added. This is configurable per-site.

Phone sensors:

  • Now use minimal data transfer to support low-bandwidth channels, such as LoRa, Sigfox and others.

January 2018 Updates

Traffic reporting app gathers traffic data from third-party providers and sensors for analysis.

  • New layout in keeping with latest portal design guidelines.
  • Improved API for third-party integrations (dashboards, etc.)
  • Added whole-route measurements so we can now measure transit time across ringroads and major thoroughfares.
  • Updated PDF weekly reports to better use space.
  • Town events are now shown directly in the interactive traffic view.
  • Real-time reporting of route transit time is now possible.

Footflow app:

  • Now allows us to apply filters to dwell times (high- and low-pass filters so unusual patterns can be removed).
  • Custom API added for county-wide analysis (available only for specific contracts).

Property app:

  • Performance and reliability improvements.
  • Notes and Points of Interest removed. App focuses solely on Properties now.
  • Road creation feature removed. We now use OpenStreetMap data as backend.

Wiki app:

  • Now supports Markdown (quicker to edit than HTML).

Weather app provides local weather forecasts and historical data

  • More frequent weather updates for next 24 hours, to better show rapidly changing weather conditions. 7-day forecasts are updated daily.

General Services covers all non-specific portal updates.

  • It is now possible to configure a BID Boundary (using a map editor) and have this shown in various apps (footfall, crime, etc.)
  • Improved invitation messages for new users. Now possible to add a custom message.

Crime app shows Home Office crime reports within specific areas.

  • We now retrieve crime data based directly on the BID/town centre Boundary (was previously a general area/radius).
  • Boundaries are now shown directly in the crime map.
  • Attribution updated for data sources (data.police.uk)
  • Improved performance by getting rid of some obsolete libraries.

Reporting app provides regular reports across a variety of data sources for stakeholders.

  • Warnings are now clearly shown where estimation/in-fill has been used for data (this relies on third-party disclosure where available).
  • A separate warning is now shown if any sensor is known to be non-operational.
  • Sensor hosts now receive a more detailed report on their own site reliability.
  • Various formatting and space improvements.

December 2017 Updates

General Services covers all non-specific portal updates.

  • Adjusted look & feel; better distinction between foreground and background colours; better readability.
  • Removed obsolete configuration options. Typically all wording and branding is now kept in the assets app.
  • Added GeoJSON support for asset editor (allows complex polygons to be edited within the app – e.g. BID Boundaries)
  • A basic import/export mechanism has been included to allow apps to be transferred between portals.
  • Stats library has been updated with more efficient code and better facilities across all apps.
  • Scheduled tasks can now be run on demand where necessary. Outputs are logged in the task manager.
  • Message queueing infrastructure is now in place (will eventually mean better performance/updates for data-driven apps such as footfall).

Weather app provides local weather forecasts and historical data

  • Updated credit for weather data attributions (forecast.io renamed to Dark Sky).

Vacancy Survey app collects property information, and enables sharing with third parties.

  • Better offline & sync performance on mobile app.
  • Improved quality of images taken with the app.
  • Added more fields in the changelog, so we can track changes over time more effectively.
  • Removed a bunch of obsolete property codes.
  • Added new reporting metrics & pages.
  • Created basic framework for reporting to third-party benchmarking surveys.

Social Media app creates images and inserts for social media and third-party sites.

  • Improved performance of image generation.
  • Added support for sales app data (local & benchmarked).

Sales app analyses weekly sales data from retailers.

  • Added parsing of Springboard Sales PDFs to capture site WOW and YOY performance.
  • Simplified look & feel throughout to show only the key figures.
  • API added to allow sharing with other apps and reports.

File sharing app allows file upload and distribution.

  • Files API now allows for sorting by last modified/updated time.

Traffic reporting app gathers traffic data from third-party providers and sensors for analysis.

  • Forecasting is now available for transit times, based on current and historical conditions.

Wiki app is a service for rapid creation and editing of web pages.

  • Various formatting updates to improve style of permitted HTML tags.

Invoicing app provides a multi-currency invoice-raising capability for portal owners.

  • Annotations have been added as a separate field (no longer necessary to create a blank invoice line).
  • Payment footers now show the correct account information depending on the currency of the invoice.
  • Now possible to change currency of invoice before publication.

November 2017 Updates

Footflow app:

  • Improved rounded figures to emphasise lower accuracy for phone counting.
  • Improved filtering of fixed & one-time devices.

Reporting app:

  • Now possible to recreate all prior reports on-demand.
  • Removed specific references to iPhones for scrambling. This more frequently applies to Android as well.
  • Where comparisons are made, the comparative period is now clearly shown.

Property app:

  • Now loads all data in advance and saves it on the phone/tablet to reduce ongoing bandwidth consumption/requirement.

October 2017 Updates

Property app:

  • Now supports editing in the mobile phone/tablet view.

Reporting app:

  • Switched to improved logic for calculating 4-4-5 weeks.

Phone sensors:

  • Improved reliability.
  • Aggregate signal strength is now collected across each hour, so we can look at potential analysis improvements.

General updates:

  • Better performance and compatibility for Internet Explorer 11.

September 2017 Updates

Footflow app:

  • Now automatically reports operating times for sensors (e.g. if switched off outside trading hours).
  • Improved export capability.
  • Better handling of timezones.
  • Consolidated systems for collecting data from third-party sensors.

Invoice app:

  • PDFs will no longer show £0 if the line is being used for an annotation.

Timesheet app:

  • Improved formatting and clarity of month-end reports.

General updates:

  • When creating an account, display name will be the first part of the email address until otherwise configured.
  • Removed references to Sarah Connor and Skynet.
  • Squashed some issues when creating new users in system.

August 2017 Updates

Events app:

  • Better reporting when we have 2 day gaps between events (happens in some towns with multiple market days).

Invoice app:

  • Better formatting for NET values.
  • Better VAT reporting.

General updates:

  • Removed obsolete forecasting system. Replacement is built into car parking and footfall already.

Recent Posts / View All Posts

May 2018 Updates

| Update | No Comments

Phone sensors: Further work to reduce bandwidth. Datagrams should now fit in the most restrictive LoRa packet configurations. Sensor protocol now supports up to four channels (four methods of counting…

April 2018 Updates

| Update | No Comments

Dataset app (provides bulk data analysis and editing): Now has a ‘copy’ function to run large-scale unattended copies of data between two systems. CSV Export option reinstated. API now has…

March 2018 Updates

| Update | No Comments

Explorer app: Where forecasting (or some kind of infill) has been used, the colours of the chart will indicate this using a slightly lighter shade. Removal of legacy dataset code. This…

February 2018 Updates

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Property app: App can now create a report for the Springboard Vacancy surveys. App now supplies a GeoJSON endpoint for GIS applications. Added documentation to assist in property classifications, i.e….