Office of Public Sector Information

Office of Public Sector Information

Navigation

Main navigation

 18 August 2008

Points of interest data

Posted in: Mapping | Ordnance Survey | Trading Fund              

9 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Daniel Yates

Public Sector Information Holder: Ordnance Survey

Information Asset: Points of interest data

The problem

Ordnance Survey hold an extensive database of UK points of interest classified into hundreds of different categories.

The minimum value for a 'specific use contract' is £5k, making the database inaccessible to all but the best-funded sites.

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/pointsofinterest/

My ideal solution

Either free data or, taking into account the cost of collection, variable pricing depending on the nature and quantity of records in each dataset.

What I would do

Use certain POI data in mashup form.

Posted at Monday, 18 August 2008 19:54:37 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 8 August 2008

Administrative boundaries for UK

Posted in: Mapping | Ordnance Survey | Trading Fund              

17 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Bill Chadwick, wheresthepath.googlepages.com

Public Sector Information Holder: Ordnance Survey

Information Asset: Administrative boundaries for UK

The problem

Community web mashups like FixMyStreet need to be able to attribute issues to a local authority/council by geographic location.

My ideal solution

Local council/authority bondary GIS polygon data to be in the public domian - free for any use.

What I would do

Build a 'TrafficRant' site where issues with local traffic flow can be logged by the public and brought to the attention of the appropriate local authority.

Posted at Friday, 08 August 2008 07:28:59 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

 15 July 2008

Driving theory test question set

Posted in: Driving Standards Agency | Trading Fund              

5 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Anna Smith

Public Sector Information Holder: Driving Standards Agency

Information Asset: Driving theory test question set

The problem

To pass a driving theory test, you must answer 50 questions taken from the official Driving Standards Agency set of 1200+ questions. Unfortunately, the only way you can find out what these questions are is by paying for online access (e.g. £6.99 for 30 days' access to the DSA's official theory test site at www.theory-tests.co.uk), or buying an official book or DVD.

This is because the driving theory test question set is Crown Copyright and can't be reproduced by anyone except the DSA or its commercial partners.

While this brings in revenue for the DSA (a trading fund), it seems counter-productive to charge people money to learn how to use the road safely. Anecdotally, at least some people don't bother, and rely on guesswork to scrape through the theory test - ultimately making them less safe drivers.

There are also usability problems with the DSA's site. For example, once you've finished a practice test, you can't return at a later date to re-take the questions you got wrong. You can't search the questions. You can't refer to the relevant bit of the Highway Code alongside the answer to the question. And you can't practice the 'hazard perception' part of the test at all online - you have to buy a DVD. All these problems make it harder to learn to use the road safely than it should be.

My ideal solution

I would like the complete driving theory test question set to be freely available in a structured format. Ideally, the practice hazard perception clips should also be available.

What I would do

Work with others to build a usable site that offered unlimited free practice tests.

Posted at Tuesday, 15 July 2008 18:48:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 12 July 2008

UKMO rainfall radar and lightning (sferic) location data

Posted in: FTP | Met Office | Trading Fund              

6 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Nicholas Verge, Earthscience Technologies (also on behalf of European Storm Forecast Experiment)

Public Sector Information Holder: United Kingdom Meteorological Office

Information Asset: UKMO rainfall radar and lightning (sferic) location data

The problem

Rainfall radar:

UKMO rainfall radar data is currently only provided on a commercial basis to those that wish to make use of this information. Public access to rainfall radar data for the UK is only available via the UKMO (extremely limited service) or via commercial redistributors. In both cases the data is provided in graphical map form only.

Lightning (sferic) location data:

The UKMO operates a network of arrival time difference (ATD) aferic location detectors across Europe, able to location the position of lightning strikes across the UK, Europe and beyond. Until recently (late 2007) this data, albeit delayed and at a reduced resolution, was available via NOAA in the USA. Since Autumn 2007, UKMO sferic location data is no longer available to the public in any form.

My ideal solution

Rainfall radar data:

3D precipitation echoe intensity data collected by each radar station. Data to be provided in minimally processed form and as echo dBz values for the entire depth of the atmosphere scanned by each radar. If radars are also doplar radar, 3D radial velocity data to be provided too.

Lightning strike (sferic) location data collected by UKMO ATD system:

Sferic locations to be provided in a standard GIS/meterolological file format eg .csv. (latitude and longitude and time of sferic location).

Rainfall radar and sferic location data to be provided via public ftp server. Data to be provided freely without restriction on use, commercial or otherwise, and without restriction on redistribution. IMPORTANT: All data to be made public at the same instant it is available to UKMO staff, ie without deliberate delayment.

What I would do

Access to UKMO rainfall radar and sferic location data will enable the public to monitor the location of current rainfall and electrical storms. The data may be also be used by experts to enable severe weather warnings to be issued via the internet and the media generally as is currently done in the USA. Similarly, for very short range (now-casting) products to be produced and published about those regions that will be imminently effected by adverse or severe weather.

Recent high-rainfall events in the UK have demonstrated how vulnerable society and infrastructure is to severe weather. It is essential in modern country that the public have free and unrestricted access to this meteorological information so they may monitor developing weather situations and on which they make decisions in order that they may protect themselves and their property. Or, simply in order that they may adjust or plan their work or leisure activities.

Posted at Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:53:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [2] #   

 8 July 2008

Output from UKMO numerical weather prediction models

Posted in: FTP | Met Office | Trading Fund              

3 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Nicholas Verge, Earthscience Technologies / European Storm forecast Experiment

Public Sector Information Holder: United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO)

Information Asset:Output from UKMO numerical weather prediction models

The problem

Output form the numerical global weather prediction models run by the UKMO is currently only provided for external use on a commercial basis (acedemic research excepted). Currently, anyone requiring comprehensive NWP model output for Europe and who cannot afford commercial prioducts, is limited to using the output of the Global Forecasting System run by NOAA in the USA. of a coarser resolution and overall, somewhat less accurate. Becasue of the inherrant unpredictablity of the atmosphere reliance on a single NWP model is not recommended. Instead the ouput from as many NWP models as can be accessed should be considered. Currently the ones developed for forecasting the weather over the UK are effectively off-limits to the public.

My ideal solution

The ideal solution would be for the UKMO to realease all fields, at full temporal and spatial resolution, output from its NWP models as the output is generated, ie without delay. Data should be provided in standard meteorological file formats (GriB2 and/or netCDF) and uploaded to an FTP server for public access.

Output from the following models is requested: the Unified Global Model, regional models including and not limited to the North Atalntic and European Model. Mesoscale models including and not limited to the UK Mesoscale Model.

Model output should be provided for free, and without restriction on how the model ouput may be used redistributed or commercialised.

What I would do

Making such data avilable would allow:

In general....

  • Creation of websites displaying the model output in map and other graphical forms.
  • Higher level products including and not limited to specialist forecasts for different actrivities and industries.

With respect to the European Storm Forecast Experiment (ESTOFEX*)...

If made available the European Storm Forecast Experiment would use output from these models as the basis of the daily forecasts by its expert storm forecasters of the expected occurence of thunderstorms and associated severe weather (tornadoes, large hail damaging straightline winds and high precipitation) from these across the UK and Europe. With the availability of more-accurate and higher spatial resolution model output, ESTOFEX would be able to make more-detailed and accurate forecasts than at present and issue in addition, severe weather watches and warnings as is currently done in the USA.

*ESTOFEX is a scientific exxercise and a non-commercial group of made up of volunteers.

Posted at Tuesday, 08 July 2008 21:52:03 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 5 July 2008

Electoral Boundary Data

Posted in: Ordnance Survey | Trading Fund              

12 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Matthew

Public Sector Information Holder: Ordnance Survey

Information Asset: Electoral Boundary Data

The problem

I find it odd that if I want to know the actual boundary of the ward or constituency I am in (co-ordinates, not just an image), I have to pay Ordnance Survey lots of money for their Boundary-Line product. I would have thought that, given it's quite important to know which MP or councillors I'm going to have the option of electing, that this information should be freely available as part of a healthy democracy; it's compiled by the various publicly funded Boundary Commissions/Committees as far as I know.

My ideal solution

I think the actual data rather than just images of the boundaries should be available, so that people can create things using the data - you can't do anything with images besides display them. For example, I can't create a Google map (using their My Maps feature) of my ward marking on where and when councillors hold their surgeries, and other local amenities. I can't create an application that asks people to select where they live on a map and it tell them if their Parliamentary constituency will be changing at the next general election, what it's changing to, and what difference that makes to them.

I am aware of the election-maps.co.uk website, but this is extremely hard to use - you have to know the name of your area before you can enter a postcode, you can't look up by e.g. ward name, and it only provides images of the boundaries.

Originally posted in the OPSI Discussion Forum.

Posted at Saturday, 05 July 2008 08:24:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [2] #