Anna Powell Smith

Freelance Software Developer


I’m interested in using data to tell new kinds of stories. My areas of interest include open data, civic hacking and transparency, online mapping, JavaScript frameworks, NoSQL, data journalism and data visualisation.

You can see examples of my work at


I’m a freelance developer, working mostly in JavaScript and Python. In my professional life I work with startups, corporates and non-profits on front- and back-end web development and data visualisation.

I became interested in software for research after creating Open Domesday, the first free online copy of Domesday Book. I built Open Domesday in my spare time, using data created by the University of Hull - my goal was to create an accessible, attractive, and free version of Domesday Book.

Working with Professor John Palmer, who created the original data, the project has been able to release the dataset and high-quality images of Domesday under a Creative Commons licence, and create an API that is used by the British Museum and others.

I’ve created several other applications using datasets, such as England & Wales Baby Names This is a popular interactive visualisation and search tool for baby names, based on Office of National Statistics data, that was widely covered in the media.

My goal as an SSI Fellow is to help researchers publish and communicate their data to the widest possible audience, create sustainable code, and find the right software tools to support their research.

I have an MA in English from Cambridge and an MPhil in Computer Speech, Text & Internet Technology, also from Cambridge.

Check out contributions by and mentions of Anna Powell Smith on