An article in eGov Monitor announced the launch of a new local information service for Turnbridge Wells (sic). The TW web site says
LocalView is an online map-based service enabling people to search for and locate properties and other mapped land, people and property information in the Tunbridge Wells borough..
Sounded good, but in practice this is just one more of the same old same old’s that local authorities have been deploying over the last 6 years and not a very good one at that.
I wonder how much of Tunbridge Wells’ ratepayers money went to software vendors and consultant to build Local View? An informed guess, well over £20,000. Doesn’t seem like great value for money in these hard pressed times.
If you think I am being unfair go and have a look at it here and then compare this with Hackney’s latest effort Hackney Where which just seems much more informative, intuitive and attractive (not perfect but pretty neat).
Cost to Hackney? Probably a few days hacking time. Now at the moment the Hackney site might fall foul of derived data licensing conditions but hopefully as the details of Ordnance Survey’s new business strategy and policies become clearer it will become easier for local authorities to use either Open Space or Google to present their data to the public. The big losers from such a change would be the software vendors and consultants who provide solutions like TurnbridgeWells’ local view – you are going to have to step up your game guys.