OpenTech 2010

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~250 times.

A quick report on OpenTech 2010 – the London event for geeks interested in Government data, openness and generally doing good things with tech and data. I attended last year’s event which inspired me to create my “VoteUK” service for the 2010 general election. I had considered doing a talk about the trials and tribulations…

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I Love Open Source

by @edent | # # #

As I mentioned in my last post about VoteUK, I found the TheyWorkForYou API to be a little lacking when it came to image sizing. I posted a request asking if there was a pattern to the image sizes and, if not, was it possible to have the sizes returned in the API. The “standard”…

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VoteUK – Updates

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments

After the tragic death of Ernest Marples, I’m sorry to say that the site fell in to a bit of disrepair. With no postcode data and no new boundary data, it looked like VoteUK was going to be permanantly out of business. Thanks – once again – to the clever-clogs at TheyWorkForYou, at least half…

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Free Our Postcodes

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 2 comments

VoteUK is no more.  In order to precisely show you where your electoral registration office was, I needed to take its postcode and covert it to latitude and longitude.  That’s the service Ernest Marples provided. A few days ago, the Post Office – in their infinite wisdom – set their legal dogs on those running…

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VoteUK – Some Minor Setbacks

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~1,892 times.

One of the problems with creating a service which deals with elections, is that boundaries change.  One year you might be in the Electoral Constituency of Woking, the next year it might be Guildford.  Boundaries have to shift in order to keep each MP with roughly the same number of constituents. The work to determine…

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VoteUK – Some Progress!

by @edent | # #

As you may recall from previous instalments of my thrilling blog, I’m trying to find the location of every polling station in the UK. This is proving to be rather tricky – if not impossible.  The  data aren’t centrally held and, in any case, polling stations aren’t announced until an election is called. So I…

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BarCamp Transparency #BCT09

by @edent | 2 comments

An inspiring day. There were, I think, two main points of contention. 1) Information wants to be free – but personal information wants to be private. 2) Raw Data Now. Should we wait for standards – or just make them up as we go along? As for (1) I’m happy for everyone to see my…

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Mashed Up Maps

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~188 times.

As part of my project to create a mobile polling station locator site, I’ve been playing with various mapping APIs. As a base experiment, I passed the postcode of a polling station (GU22 7DT) to both Google Maps and Yahoo Maps. Here are the results. – Two things of interest to note. Firstly, Google has…

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Getting People To The Polling Station

by @edent | # | 17 comments | Read ~261 times.

It has always depressed me how little the British make of elections. We don’t have voter registration drive, “Kiss me; I’ve voted” badges” or much in the way of celebrating our democracy. Perhaps it’s our reserved nature. But I think it has a direct effect on the declining number of people voting. We’re going to…

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