Open Data


Long walk to open data 1

Excuse the corny link to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography but this morning it feels as if we are on a pretty long walk to the nirvana of open data and that we are going to need the patience and determination of Nelson to get there. Last week my friend Giusseppe Sollazzo published a report “Open data in the health sector – Users, stories, products and recommendations“. Giusseppe suggested that I might be somewhat critical of his report @StevenFeldman looking forward […]


Stretching FoI beyond a reasonable use case? 8

“The Freedom of Information Act is a good thing” – sounds like a reasonable statement that would attract a lot of support from many who read this blog or who live in the open data, open source, open whatever communities. In line with my position on the cost/benefit of Open Data, I have occasionally wondered whether some people/organisations are ‘taking the mick’ with their FoI requests. The act applies to all and any requests regardless of the […]


Child Poverty in London 17

This is another post about making maps from OpenData. I am trying to learn more geeky stuff rather than my usual blathering about the map and data business, things open and stuff, so I am playing with PostGIS, QGIS, taking some tentative steps into CSS and JavaScript and generally having lots of fun. But hey, you can burn a lot of time wrangling data and making maps. A week ago I saw this tweet Mapping […]


Why OS refuses an exemption request

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ordnance Survey’s response to my FoI request regarding data exemptions and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the high proportion of requests that were granted. The FoI response left a gap as far as I was concerned so I asked a follow up question “You state that refusals were because OS “considered the risk of release of the dataset, to OS or our partners, outweighed the positive […]


A tale of two datasets 2

This is a tale of two datasets – an open data set and a free dataset. Last Tuesday at GeoMob, Anna Powell-Smith gave an absolutely brilliant talk about the work that she had done with Private Eye to uncover the extent of foreign company ownership of UK property. It wasn’t straight forward as the Land registry seems to be reluctant to make the data available (there is a lot more than raw Land Registry data in […]


Drip, drip, drip – OS OpenWashing

Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of the Ordnance Survey and that I have many friends who work there or have worked there. Ordnance Survey’s detail, precision, currency and quality of mapping are the envy of many other countries and most of their staff seem to be dedicated to producing ever improving digital map products as their public task. So you are waiting for the ‘but’ and it is a big ‘but’. There […]