January 8, 2010 by Jim Morton
In an exciting, albeit slightly unexpected move, Apple cleared the Warwickshire iPhone application for download from iTunes on Christmas Eve. As such my planned multimedia blitzkrieg to publicise the launch was completely stuffed.
Now that everyone is back at work we have started to promote this new approach to our staff and citizens through our web site (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/iphone) and via a twitter account (www.twitter.com/wcciphone), there will also be more traditional internal communications and press releases being sent out. The app itself can be downloaded for free from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/warwickshire/id345904759?mt=8
Although the focus of this project has bee the actual iPhone app, the real point behind this work has been to act as a stimulus for starting to provide data in open formats and in a universal manner. To this end we have been using a series of RSS feeds and XML web services to expose information on a subset of WCC’s information and services.
Now that this model is in place there are two key aims in the short term:
- Expose more information so that we can feed a greater variety of services to the iPhone application and hopefully provide some richer functions.
- Establish a set of standards for exposing data from WCC and establish an open data web presence for the authority – enabling anyone who is interested to make use of our data for their own analysis, applications or web sites.
This project is underway and I hope to have something visible to the public around the end of February. Priority areas for opening up data are going to be around geographical and democratic info. Despite these initial priorities, we are keen to hear from anyone who has other ideas on the type of information that should be made available.