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 18 November 2008

Civil Service Year Book

Posted in: Cabinet Office | Value Added              

5 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Michael Bimmler

Public Sector Information Holder: Cabinet Office

Information Asset: Civil Service Yearbook

The problem

At the moment, the Civil Service Year Book's online edition ( is only accessible via a costly subscription.

My ideal solution

The Civil Service Year Book's online edition should be open and accessible to everyone. Compare eg.: (European Union Who is who) (United States Government Manual) "Staatskalender / Annuaire fédéral / Annuario federale" of the Swiss government.

These three publications are very much similar to the Civil Service Year Book and have been completely "unlocked" by their respective governmental editors.

What I would do

Various uses are possible if the information is unlocked -- if "spam" or other "direct mailing / harassment" issues are a concern, then I refer to the three examples above.

Posted at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 16:03:30 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 15 November 2008

Bluetongue Clinical Signs Images

Posted in: DEFRA              

0 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Alex Lord

Public Sector Information Holder: DEFRA

Information Asset: Bluetongue Clinical Signs Images

The problem

I am a 3rd year veterinary student who is doing a pathology wiki project on bluetongue and to impreove my project i need images of pathology of bluetongue and the clinical signs images of bluetongue would be ideal however they are covered by crown copyright and i understqand replicating these pictures needs to be done with your permission.

My ideal solution

For Crown copyright to give me permission to copy and paste the pictures from the defra website on bluetongue clinical signs.

What I would do

I would transfer the images to a wiki project which is on the royal dick vet electronic server. The images would back up my project well.

Posted at Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:01:21 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   


Posted in: Ofcom              

4 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Anna Powell

Public Sector Information Holder: Ofcom

Information Asset: Sitefinder - mobile phone mast locations in the UK

The problem

Ofcom currently allow the public to search for mobile phone masts online ( However, it's only possible to search for a single postcode at a time, and the results are only displayed on a map - not given in reusable format.

In September 2006, the Information Commissioner ordered Ofcom to publish the Sitefinder dataset in a reusable format ( Ofcom appealed to the Information Tribunal, which in September 2007 upheld the Information Commissioner's decision. In April 2008, Ofcom appealed to the High Court, which dismissed Ofcom's appeal. Ofcom is now taking measures to appeal further.

A recent Freedom of Information request to release the dataset was rejected by Ofcom ( on the grounds that it would help criminals and infringe the mobile operators' intellectual property rights - both reasons rejected by the Information Commissioner in the original review.

In the US, mobile phone mast locations are freely available in database form, and various useful applications have been built.

My ideal solution

I would like Ofcom to release the locations of mobile phone base stations in the UK in reusable form with latitude/longitude info.

What I would do

Use the locations to build a mobile phone mast locator, for use on mobile phones in areas where reception is poor or non-existent.

If you are on a mountainside in poor weather, and need to call the emergency services - or just staying in a house with poor reception - it would be very useful to know that walking 50 yards north would improve your reception.

Posted at Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:59:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 17 September 2008

Health and Safety Information

Posted in: Value Added | HSE              

32 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Michael Meeks

Public Sector Information Holder: Health and Safety Executive

Information Asset: All information regarding health and safety

The problem

I am currently in the process of building a web site that involves health and safety for companies and contractors who work for them but at this point I don't have enough information on the rules and regulations and legislation the reason i need to use the HSE for this information is that its a government site that we work and run our companies by the legislation and rules and regulations so rather than get my information from another source that maybe wrong i would prefer to get it from the government bodies themselves.

My ideal solution

I would like for the HSE to let me use what ever information i needed as this would be another place that companies and employees of the companies can view rules and regulations and get a correct correspondence to there individual needs i.e asbestos correct ppe working in confined spaces working at heights and many more that are listed on the HSE web site.

What I would do

I would put a lot of information on the web site for people to read and gather what they needed for there companies to work safer and better also informational to who ever uses our web site.

Posted at Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:14:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 15 September 2008

National Public Transport Data Repository

Posted in: Transport              

14 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Tom Steinberg

Public Sector Information Holder: Department for Transport

Information Asset: National Public Transport Data Repository

The problem

This dataset contains a snapshot of timetable information across the UK and across many modes of transport, bus, train etc.

mySociety needs this dataset in order to produce real-time versions of the currently non-interactive isochrone travel time maps found here:

These maps would have a tangible impact on UK citizens' ability to choose places to live and work that made sense to optimise their commutes.

My ideal solution

We would like this dataset to be made available for free, not for £7500, for the whole of the UK. We would also like it to be made available for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, as we expect that the revenue generated from letting people build experimental business models around it would probably be greater than making people buy first.

What I would do

We would produce an interactive mapping service where users could pick and location in the UK and have isochrone maps based on multi-model public transport journey times drawn for them. These would then help people work out the best places to live to have easy and quick commutes.

If the information was made available for commercial use, we would then start to sell maps like this to commercial buyers who want extra features.

Posted at Monday, 15 September 2008 12:10:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 1 September 2008

Registration districts and register offices

Posted in: Local Authorities | Home Office              

1 Supporter so far - add your name

Posted by: Nick Gulliford, Affinities/FOCCUS

Public Sector Information Holder: GRO and local authorities

Information Asset: Registration districts and register offices

The problem

Paul Boateng, then Shadow Minister in the Commons for the Lord Chancellor's Department, began the argument for the signposting of couples by Registrars towards marriage preparation on 24th April 1996 during a debate on the Family Law Bill:

"At the moment, there is no preparation at all for civil marriage, and there is absolutely nothing on the face of the Bill to give any hope whatsoever that that will occur or is envisaged... The Government also have to come forward with proposals in relation to preparation for marriage and with proposals that recognise the need for concerted and focused action to support the institution of marriage and the family.

Marriage preparation and relationship education were outlined in the White Paper "Delivering Vital Change" and in the House of Commons debate when the Labour Treasury Minister, Ruth Kelly, said:

"In our White Paper, [Delivering Vital Change] the Government explained that the registration service is ideally placed to act as a focal point for information about services associated with births, deaths and marriages, such as ........ marriage preparation ...... I believe that there is a genuine opportunity for local authorities to develop those services innovatively to meet the needs of their communities, now and in future. A wider role for the registration service will improve on the current piecemeal approach by local authorities and will be underpinned by the proposed national standards."

My ideal solution

A database of Registration Districts and Register Offices and the Local Authorities with their Registration Services Managers, including details showing which Register Office is connected with which Local Authority.

What I would do

Set up a search facility so that members of the National Couple Support Network and others concerned with relationship education can approach Registrars and Local Authorities about providing services along the lines envisaged above by Paul Boateng and Ruth Kelly.

Posted at Monday, 01 September 2008 12:06:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 20 August 2008

Case Law

Posted in: ATOM Feed | REST API              

37 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Francis Irving

Public Sector Information Holder: HM Court Service

Information Asset: Case law

The problem

Case law is a vital part of British law, which it is necessary to have access to in order to understand and obey the law.

Some case law is published via the independent charity BAILII. However, it is essentially proprietary information.

BAILII prevent it from being accessible to the general public via standard search engines, and prevent reuse in imaginative new projects.

My ideal solution

Publication of all case law by all courts on either the court, or the court service, website.

Failing that, simply publishing the same raw feed of decisions which is sent to BAILII would be excellent.

What I would do

Initially, simply enjoy all the new people finding decisions with search engines.

Others will create simple email alerting and RSS projects, to help people keep abreast of new cases.

Later, feed all the data into projects such as the Free Legal Web.

Posted at Wednesday, 20 August 2008 20:53:07 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 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.

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] #   

 14 August 2008

Primary school counts

Posted in: DCSF              

1 Supporter so far - add your name

Posted by: Amrdeep Singh

Public Sector Information Holder: DCSF

Information Asset: Primary school counts

The problem

I need counts of primary schools at postcode sectors/district level to create franchises for companies that market their products/services at primary school age children.

My ideal solution

As above.

What I would do

Use it in territory mapping/design.

Posted at Thursday, 14 August 2008 19:42:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #