Posted by: Harry Metcalfe
Public Sector Information Holder: Office of Public Sector Information
Information Asset: London Gazette Supplements
Notices & Supplements are not available in any machine readable format. They contain a wide range of extremely useful information about the activities of government and business.
My ideal solution
I would suggest two improvements that should run alongside each other:
- A REST API to query the existing database of notices and supplements. Data should be returned in XML or some equivalently useful format, and the API should be able to perform text searches, limit results by date or the type of notice/supplement, etc.
- An Atom feed for new notices. The system should provide a "see everything" feed as well as allowing users to specify what they'd like to see more narrowly, along the same lines as the database search API. This is essentially the same as the API, but provides 'live' access to the latest information in the gazette, rather than a search for its back catalogue.
What I would do
This is a rich dataset that provides many opportunities for innovation. One could use the information to monitor for the registration of company names of interest and to be notified of corporate insolvencies. Notifications of upcoming major roadworks could be overlaid onto a map, as could applications to discharge fluids into national waterways.Various notifications of applications for planning are published in the Gazette, which could be of great interest to those affected by them, and could be worked into services such as PlanningAlerts.com.
There is such a wide variety of data in this dataset that the possibilities are limited only by imagination.