Create your own Datawalk!

This manual, developed by the Knowledge Centre Data & Society, gives you all the information and tools you need to design your own Datawalk tailored to your objectives, target audience and environment.

Datawalks in a nutshell

A Datawalk is a guided walk with a focus on ‘data’. In 2021 and 2022, the Knowledge Centre Data & Society, the research centre imec-SMIT, VUB and the citizen science project amai! organised several Datawalks. The methodology was developed by Alison Powell and was used in the SPECTRE project, among others.

The Datawalk method can be used for several purposes. The Knowledge Centre Data & Society developed this manual and card-set to make the approach better known and introduce more people to the concept of Datawalks. This allows interested parties to design, organise and supervise a Datawalk themselves.

Who is this tool aimed at?

This manual is aimed at anyone who wishes to develop a Datawalk in a ‘smart’ city or municipality, such as:

  • employees of (city) services focused on participation,
  • project managers of smart cities,
  • ‘data protection officers’ (DPOs) of the city or municipality,
  • civil society organisations seeking hands-on learning about data collection in the city

... and many more.

Read more about the experiences of the Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen and UNIZO Oost-Vlaanderen with a Datawalk (in Dutch).

What can you find in this tool?

The tool consists of a manual, a card-set and a template to prepare your Datawalk.

The manual is structured as follows:

  • In the first part we explore what a Datawalk is and what you can use it for.
  • In the second part we go through the steps you can use to develop a Datawalk yourself,
  • in the third part we give you tips on how to organise the Datawalk effectively.
  • In the fourth part we discuss a number of tools you can use to create a Datawalk.
  • In parts five and six you will find references, more info and the colophon.

This manual includes a set of data source-cards for the Datawalks. You can use this overview when preparing for your Datawalk or during the Datawalk itself, to explain or illustrate a service (if it is not available in the city, for example).

Lastly, you can also download a template which can help you to prepare your Datawalk in more detail. What route will you take and what will you explain at each stop?

Good luck and enjoy creating your very own Datawalk! Do you have any suggestions or ideas to further fine-tune the Datawalk methodology? Let us know via


This manual is a publication of the Knowledge Centre Data & Society and the research group imec-SMIT, VUB. The following persons contributed to the development of this manual: Pieter Duysburgh, Michiel Vaes, Jonas Breuer, Ine van Zeeland and Jonne van Belle.
The design of the manual and the data sources were created by Toast Confituur Studio.

We would like to thank the smart city departments of the cities of Leuven and Brussels (CIBG) for their efforts in developing the Datawalks methodology.

The SPECTRE project is financed by FWO. Research Foundation – Flanders – FWO reference number S006318N.

This manual is available under a CC BY 4.0 licence and may therefore be shared and edited without seeking our permission, as long as you credit us as the source or author and indicate whether any modifications have been made.