June 14, 2010 by Jim Morton
It has been a bit quiet around here while I have been concentrating on the Warwickshire Open Data intiative. This is now up and running and starting to show our strategic vision in action as well as paving the way for the new wave applications approach within the authority.
For the uninitiated, our open data site provides a one stop shop for public data held by Warwickshire county council. The key point is that the data is held in open, machine readable formats that can be re-used and re-purposed by any number of different web-sites and applications.
Currently the info is mostly static data but where possible we will be providing dynamic web services for developers and applications to take advantage of.
An early example of how this approach can provide real benefits in terms of scaleability and re-usability (not a real word I am sure) can be seen through the web service that provides details of our recycling centres.
The data is provided via our Open Data catalogue at: http://opendata.warwickshire.gov.uk/datasets/recycling-centres
The raw data of which can be found at: http://ws.warwickshire.gov.uk/recycling_centres.xml
That same feed of data is feeding the wcc iphone application: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/warwickshire/id345904759?mt=8
…Which can also be used on the new iPad:
The data has also been used by this excellent entry to our Hack Warwickshire competition: http://www.pezholio.co.uk/warwickshire/
The demonstrable success of the open data approach has now led to a project to set up a similar catalogue and repository of internally facing data sources and web services.
The solution being piloted is the CKAN repository (also driving data.gov.uk)which we eventually hope will provide the foundation for both our internal and external open data sources – leading to the beginning of a universal API for the organisation.