GEODE: Grid Enabled Occupational Data Environment

GEODE is a long-running project that seeks to collate and distribute occupational information resources for the benefit of social science research. For a period (2008-13) is was part of a wider ESRC project called 'DAMES', and used an online 'portal' for both collecting and distributing data. Since 2014, due to technical difficulties with the portal systems, resources are collected and distributed on a manual basis as is described below.

Direct link: Occupational Information Listing / Help and Guidance / Publications

Popular links / Abstract / Contact details


The GEODE project is concerned with the distribution of ‘occupational information’ within the social science research community (and with the technologies behind that process). Occupational information refers to summary statistics and data which are associated with particular occupational positions. Typical examples are 'derivation matrices' for social class classifications (that link occupational unit groups with positions in a social class scheme); or 'crosswalks' that are designed to allow for linkage between different occupational unit group schemes.

This sort of information is used by many social research projects, and is often already published on other websites or through other publications. However, not all relevant data is published, and some of the data that is is not considered easily accessible to non-specialists. In GEODE, we seek to compile a 'library' of occupational information resouces, and to make them readily available to other social scientists.

The project has both technological and substantive objectives. Its main substantive contributions have been to:

  • search proactively for relevant resources and make them available from a single location
  • ensure appropriate metadata is recorded and attached to relevant resources
  • attempt to supply data in formats that are suitable to most social research requirements, including with user-friendly guides and programmes to allow users to connect their own data with relevant supplementary occupational information resources

Although the GEODE project is based in the UK, and has a number of UK-based resources, the project has an internatonal orientation, with many occupational information resources being provided from other countries. Many resources are developed through the project team's related inputs to the CAMSIS project (such as its 'occupational classifications' page).

Work on the GEODE project benefitted from UK ESRC research grants for the DAMES ('Data Management through e-Social Science') research Node based at the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow (2008-12), and from an ESRC 'Small Grant in eSocial Science' project (2005-7).


Send us your occupational information!

GEODE works by seeking to collect together any and every 'occupational information resouce' of potential value to social science researchers.

At the time of writing, a manual process for collecting and distributing information resources is in operation. See below for details.


Portal services and project history

Over the period 2006-2013, the GEODE project was also part of a wider methodological endeavour, looking at tools developed through computer science to facilitate the collation and distribution of social science research data. The project attempted to use ‘eScience’ or 'Digital Social Research' technologies to do this. These technologies involve a particular form of computing resource – indeed, a wider intention of the project was to develop and promote these technologies as exemplars of ‘eSocial Science’. This aspect of the project involved collaborations with the UK's National e-Science Centre and with the ESRC's programme in e-Social Science, in which functionality for GEODE was developed as part of the ESRC-funded DAMES research Node.

In this work, an interactive portal system was developed to provide the desired faclities. In fact, GEODE was one of three similar portal-based services developed in DAMES for accessing specialist information resources - the others being a resource for data on educational qualifications (GEEDE) and a resource for social research data on ethnic minorities (GEMDE).

The portal systems that were developed for GEODE have not been functional since spring 2014. For historical interest, the portal had the following characteristics:

  • Users could access the portal through a web browser either as a named user (after free registration) or as a guest
  • 'Search' and 'browse' queries could be run across all resources currently stored in the system by named users and by guests. Typically, a user would search for a key term, such as the name of a country, social scientist, project, or occupational unit; any resources with matching links would be highlighted and the user would have the opportunity to review further information on the resource and to dowload any relevant data files.
  • New occupational information resouces could be deposited at the GEODE portal by a named user (typically either one of the GEODE team, or another social scientist, such as the creator of the resource, if they were registered with the GEODE service and obtained a user identity)
  • When deposited at the portal, new resources were catalogued with appropriate metadata using an automated proforma.
  • Once reviewed and approved by members of the project team, new occupational information resources were made available to other users to search and download
  • Within the portal environment, users also had the opportunity to provide feedback and comments on the quality or experience of using any specific resources, such as by providing ratings, and certain additional research tools were provided, such as automated routines to allow the user to match-merge their own data files with the information files held on the portal.
  • For historical information, version 2 of the GEODE portal was available between 2010 and 2013 from: . Version 2 was developed, using 'LifeRay', primarily by Guy Warner and Paul Lambert, with inputs from Simon Jones and from other members of the DAMES project. Version 1 of the GEODE portal was available between 2007 and 2012 from Version 1 was developed, using 'GridSphere', primarily by Larry Tan and Paul Lambert, with inputs from Ken Turner, Richard Sinnott and Vernon Gayle.


A workshop held in January 2012 at University of Stirling featured materials introducing the contribution of GEODE, as well as a workbook handout which includes exercises in using GEODE and in handling occupational data.

A list of publications associated with the GEODE project is available at this website.





Popular links

The GEODE project utilises occupational information resources from a number of other internet sites. It is also designed to complement several other existing provisions in the field. Selected links are below:

  • CAMSIS project (International occupational research project)
  • CASCOT (UK - Computer assisted coding of occupational textual descriptions)
  • Harry Ganzeboom's tools for converting occupational codes (and related links)
  • E-SEC (Project developing an EU harmonised occupational class scheme)
  • HISCO (Historical occupational classification system)

In order to organise the information from these and other sources, we use data curation standards according to the Michigan Data Documentation Initiative and other portal technology:


The following pages give further details on specific aspects of the GEODE work:



Contact details

Please address queries to the principal investigator in the first instance.

Principal Investigator:  

 - Prof. Paul Lambert

Applied Social Science, Stirling University (  
Other project investigators:  

 - Prof. Vernon Gayle

Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh  

 - Prof. Ken Prandy

Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University  
 - Prof. Richard Sinnott National e-Science Centre, Glasgow University / eResearch Institute, Univ. Melbourne  

 - Prof. Ken Turner

Computing Science and Mathematics, Stirling University  

- Dr Simon Jones

Computing Science and Mathematics, Stirling University  
Project Research Assistants:  

 - Larry Tan

Computing Science, Stirling Univ. (2005-7 & 2008-9)  

- Guy Warner

Computing Science, Stirling Univ. (2009-2012)  
Other project associates:  

 - Dr Erik Bihagen

Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University  
 - Prof. Marco van Leeuwen Dept. Sociology, University of Utrecht / International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam  



Help and Guidance: How GEODE works


1) If you want to find useful occupational information via GEODE:

  • The occupational information resources distributed by GEODE are made available from a webpage that we refer to as the 'Occupational Information Listing' - please visit it!
  • We have some more extended instruction materials on how to make use of these resources, once you have found them, available here


2) If you have useful occupational information (e.g. coding files that show how to derive a measure of social class based upon occupational unit group values) that you would like to distribute to others:

  • Consider submitting it to GEODE - this will help publicise your own work, as well as help the social science research community generally
  • For the time being, to submit the information, please send it by email to this page's author, Paul Lambert ( He will review it and, if relevant, he will try to upload it as swiftly as possible. Since 2014, this manual arrangement has been undertaken on an entirely voluntary basis, so please forgive in advance any delays in the process.
  • When you send information, please include metadata (descriptive information) about the resource, covering anything that might be useful to others. In particular, the name(s) of the authors and the date of development of the resource is important. Many authors also wish to provide recommended citation instructions for people who use their resource.
  • We encourage you to fill in our own 'Metadata form' (word / pdf) to describe your information as fully as is possible


3) Linking OUG's with OIR's

In general, the GEODE resources usually involve making connections between listings of occupational titles or 'Occupational Unit Groups' (OUG's), and data about the properties of those units, such as into which social class category they may be allocated. We usually refer to the latter data as 'Occupational Information Resources' (OIR's).

List of OUG titles. A key feature of the GEODE index service is a consistent naming convention for all possible 'Occupational Unit Group' (OUGs). On this page we present a list of all OUGs used in any resources within GEODE. This list is partly produced for our own purposes,




   Earlier guidelines and materials

There are some instruction booklets and worked examples, including screen shots and point and click style instructions, for all three of the GESDE portal services (GEODE, GEEDE and GEMDE) included within our workshop pages from the DAMES project. Your can find relevant examples at our sessions on:

An extended guide to the Version 1 portal was included within the GEODE project technical papers 1 and 2.These are now superceeded by the version 2 materials above. We also held a workshop in January 2007, at Stirling University, which covered general talks on working with occupational information, and demonstrations of GEODE fuctions (version 1), some of which are still of relevance:

Workshop materials:
  Talk 1 - Handling Occupational Information [ ppt / pdf ]
  Talk 2 - Issues in e-Science [ ppt / pdf ]
  Talk 3 - Occupational Analyses - Issues and examples [ ppt / pdf ]
  Talk 4 - Curating Occuaptional Data [ ppt / pdf ]
  Practical session - implementing GEODE (v1) [ pdf ]
Other materials are linked from


Last modified  24 Jul 2014
This document is maintained by Paul Lambert (

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