Anna Powell-Smith

Coder, writer, data analyst

Developer and data analyst / Anna is chief product officer at Flourish, the platform for data visualisation and storytelling. In her spare time she maps England’s land ownership at the Who Owns England blog. She was previously tech lead at the Evidence-Based Medicine Data Lab in Oxford. She also helped Private Eye map all the land in England owned by offshore companies. She likes data, maps, and combining the two.

Why don't we know who owns England?

16:13 | Filmed on 4th October 2018 at DotYork 2018

Land ownership is one of England’s oldest secrets. More than 15% of the country still isn’t registered at Land Registry, and the rest is hidden behind a paywall. If you want to find out who owns the land outside your town - farmers, house-builders, or mysterious companies in tax havens - it’s surprisingly hard to find out. This matters because land is a scarce resource, and as Mark Twain said, they aren’t making it any more. But a small group of campaigners, coders and journalists are trying to change that. This talk will cover working with Private Eye to map land owned in tax havens, and progress towards building England’s first full map of land ownership.

Thanks to our partners

Supported by