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 27 August 2010

House Prices Paid

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2 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Kevin Purcell

Public Sector Information Holder:Land Registry

Information Asset: House Prices Paid

The problem

Currently to get this data you have to engage in a business agreement with the HMLR. Since it's possible to search on this data through the HMLR site and through third parties like Rightmove, why not make the raw data available for free too.

My ideal solution

The dataset made available free of charge.

What I would do

Website visualisations of the data.

Posted at Friday, 27 August 2010 11:06:44 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 26 August 2010

National Learning Directory Database

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0 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by:Nadeem Shabir

Public Sector Information Holder:, National Learning Directory

Information Asset:National Learning Directory Database

The problem

The National Learning Directory is "the government's central learning database. It contains approximately one million courses from more than 10,000 providers in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales"

Whilst organizations such as UCAS have course related data they aren't providing that data to anyone other that Higher Education Institutions to innovated against.

My ideal solution

Ideally I'd love it if this data was published as linked data. I doubt very much if this is available in this format at the moment.

However, I have lots of experience, modelling, converting and publishing data as linked data. So if the raw data was made available in csv, xml, or any structured format. I would be able to work with it.

What I would do

This is a huge amount of data about courses being offered in the UK. Unlocking this data would allow people like myself to build new search tools and visualizations and mashups that might better help prospective students find the right course.

Posted at Thursday, 26 August 2010 11:25:36 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 25 August 2010

Fares, Timetables and Routing Information

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2 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by:Nicholas Westlake

Public Sector Information Holder:ATOC / National Rail

Information Asset:Fares, timetable and routing information

The problem

Fares, timetable and routing information can currently only be accessed by National Rail Enquiries and similar web-sites. This is acceptable for individual enquiries, but not for automated enquiries used to assist passengers with more complicated enquires.

My ideal solution

Free access to the RSP data feeds as available here

What I would do

Develop a website to inform passengers about fares, alternative railway routes and allow more flexible journey planning eg:

  • advice for obtaining better value train fares such as by using slower, longer routes or trains
  • using easier interchanges for those with mobility difficulties
  • knowledge of the possibly of getting an earlier train at an interchange
  • Posted at Wednesday, 25 August 2010 08:38:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

     23 August 2010

    Boundaries of LNRs, NNRs and SSSIs

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    0 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by: Ian Abbott-Donnelly

    Public Sector Information Holder: Natural England

    Information Asset: Boundaries of LNRs, NNRs and SSSIs and other green infrastructure

    The problem

    I have asked for this information through the normal processes and have discovered that despite open OS initiative this data is still unavailable for re-use and is subject to Natural England copyright limitations.

    Below is a summary of the history... one day the information tax payers pay for can be used by everyone. An organisation that cannot share its data will be seen as adding little value.

    Dear Ian,

    Thank you for your various emails clarifying your position on the question of your using data derived or interpreted from Natural England owned data on Google applications. Having now received feedback from Natural England’s Intellectual Property manager and our Ordnance Survey main contact, I would like to clarify where Natural England sits with this.

    Obviously, in an ideal world, Natural England owned data would be available to use freely on whatever internet mapping platform the customer requires. This would both promote Natural England’s work to a wider audience, and be in keeping with the current trends to put publically funded data into the public domain.

    However, due to ongoing issues with Ordnance Survey and Google, which I have outlined in previous emails (the clause in question is in Google’s Terms of Service, 11.1, which gives Google more rights than OS are comfortable with) Natural England cannot publish OS derived data on externally available Google platforms, which is not ideal, but is the situation in which we are in.

    Your suggestion to redigitise Natural England’s data using an OS OpenData source or a Google-compatible source (in this case Infoterra’s aerial photographs) are unacceptable to Natural England on the following grounds:

    1. This breaches the Ordnance Survey End User Licence, which is supplied with the OS derived data within the Natural England Terms of Use document, specifically:

    3.2 (d) The Supplied Data is not copied, adapted, varied or modified except to the extent and only to the extent to which any of those acts are expressly permitted by this Licence.

    3.4 The End User shall take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised use and exploitation of Supplied Data by any person, including, without limitation, its employees.

    2. This also breaches the Natural England Terms of Use supplied with all Natural England’s data, specifically:

    2 f. Any product derived from the Data must be acknowledged as Natural England copyright using the following statement:

    "© Natural England [Year], reproduced with the permission of Natural England,” If the Data contains derived data additional third party statements may also be required (see below).

    3 b. You may not copy or otherwise reproduce the Data without our written consent.

    3. In addition, a point you have made yourself, once the data is in the public domain it will be seen by some as the de facto boundaries for the sites you show, and I have reservations about the merit of digitising this data either using a less detailed OS product or using the Infoterra aerial imagery on Google, as, from examination of the sample data you sent and from knowledge of the scale of the products involved, this will not be as accurate as Ordnance Survey MasterMap, nor will it be updated with the same regularity as our data, which could potentially lead to decisions made with erroneous information.

    4. Further, using our data on Google constitutes commercial use as there is advertising contained within the Google interface, for which you would require a commercial licence from Natural England.

    Our OS contact says:

    “Having spoken with the Contracts Manager for Central Government I am advised that publishing redigitised boundaries (via OpenData) onto the free Google API still breeches our terms and conditions, as the original polygons were derived from PGA products.”

    As I said at the start of this email, in an ideal world Natural England owned data could be made available via publically available interfaces such as Google; however at the current moment implementing what you have proposed contravenes both Ordnance Survey licensing and the Natural England Terms of Use, and provides a dangerous precedent in promulgating inaccurate data. Therefore, and it is with regret, I have to inform you that Natural England cannot agree with your proposed use of NE derived data on Google. If you were to use one of the internet mapping applications which does not contravene OS’s terms and conditions then this discussion would potentially have a different outcome.


    Geographic Services, Evidence Team, Natural England

    My ideal solution

    Boundary data that can be openly used on Google Earth

    What I would do

    Use it to help cities understand their sustainability performance by combining this data with social and economic information which is location dependent.

    Posted at Monday, 23 August 2010 09:24:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

    Postcode Address File

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    4 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by: Martin Lee

    Public Sector Information Holder: Royal Mail

    Information Asset: Postcode Address Finder (PAF)

    The problem

    The PAF has long been held as secure data which cannot be revealed. However this is data on house and homes owned by the public. How can this kind of information not be freely available to be re-distributed and shared? The information which America has openly shared for many years but it seem the equivalent is under lock and key for us in the UK.

    My ideal solution

    Part of the PAF should be shared for address lookup. If Royal mail fear income issues will suffer they should be investing in a range of other services which can support this date, i.e. API's and other services which will show significant benefit of choosing royal mail over other providers.

    What I would do

    There are thousands of applications that are possible with the PAF and by limiting data it limits ideas.

    Posted at Monday, 23 August 2010 09:02:21 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

    Training for Work Providers and Courses

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    0 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by:Mike Coupar

    Public Sector Information Holder: Skills Development Scotland/Jobcentre Plus

    Information Asset: Details of all Training for Work providers/courses within Scotland (preferably UK as a whole)

    The problem

    As someone who was long term unemployed and in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, I wanted to establish which courses were available for me to attend under the Training for Work programme in order to retrain and get back to work. The Training for Work programme provides training opportunities for unemployed people to undertake work focused training as requested by local employers in each area to gain skills necessary to fill vacancies.

    I found it extremely difficult to establish which courses were available for unemployed people to undertake via the Training for Work programme although after numerous meetings, telephone calls, letters (e-mails), and internet searches,I was fortunate enough to have had it organised for me to attend an excellent Training for Work course which I am confident will enable me to return to work (upon completion) and I hope to use my web development experience to make the process much more accessible to other people which I think would be of huge benefit given the economic situation we are faced with.

    My ideal solution

    For the data to be provided in XML format via an API/webservice or simply contained within CSV file(s) with updated files made accessible on a regular basis.

    Any standardised format would be fine though as I would write an import routine to populate a website database.

    What I would do

    I wish to create a website whereby people who are unemployed (and anyone else), will not be faced with the difficulty I had and can easily establish which training/re-training opportunities exist within their local area, within Scotland (and preferably UK as a whole).

    I would create a dynamic website with a searchable database which would provide information on retraining opportunities throughout Scotland (and preferably UK as whole).

    Posted at Monday, 23 August 2010 08:57:04 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

     22 August 2010

    Register of Charities

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    0 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by: Chris Taggart

    Public Sector Information Holder: Charities Commission

    Information Asset: Register of Charities

    The problem

    The Register of Charities is not downloadable, which essentially stops mashups/analysis relating to charities, e.g. matching up with spending by central/local govt

    My ideal solution

    A download of the register including all core data about the charity (i.e. address, purpose, trustees, relevant dates, annual report location, etc)

    What I would do

    Tie to local council spending data

    Posted at Sunday, 22 August 2010 08:44:13 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

     10 August 2010

    Contributions to ACPO

    Posted in:               

    2 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by: David Green

    Public Sector Information Holder: Police authorities

    Information Asset: Financial Contribution each Police Authority makes towards ACPO including Staff hours spent on ACPO projects and business

    The problem

    Is ACPO producing value for money considering the amount of Senior Police time given to this Company.

    My ideal solution

    Simple cost benefit analysis so that each APA can compare the benefits given to the authority by ACPO.

    What I would do

    Attempt to have some accountability for public funds.

    Posted at Tuesday, 10 August 2010 13:18:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

     5 August 2010

    National Insurance and PAYE Tables

    Posted in:               

    3 Supporters so far - add your name

    Posted by:George Nugent

    Public Sector Information Holder:HMRC

    Information Asset: NI and PAYE tables

    The problem

    I recently requested the NI and PAYE tables from HMRC in a CSV format (as they only exist in PDF format on their website I was informed by the SDS Team ( that this information does not exist in CSV form.

    My ideal solution

    This tabular information should be available in formats that allow uploading to other systems. I am currently writing a Payroll system and these tables had to be manually created on our systems. When the data changes in the future (new NI/tax rules) then this process will have to be repeated.

    What I would do

    This would vastly simplify the updating of our systems when NI & tax rates change. I am sure other companies would benefit.

    Posted at Thursday, 05 August 2010 09:09:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #