Matt Burgess, the man behind FOI Directory (and the former editor of Help Me Investigate Education) has launched a new weekly email newsletter providing regular updates on developments in Freedom of Information and transparency. Continue reading
The developers group Democracy Club have created an app which collects the CVs of candidates standing in the general election.
Democracy Club CVs is intended to help constituents get access to information on their candidates’ experience and background.
Users can also use the site to ask candidates for their CVs by sending an email or tweeting them. Continue reading
In our latest interview with hyperlocal practitioners, Damian Radcliffe speaks to Mark Baynes from Love Wapping. A journalist, professional photographer and user experience designer; Mark explains how his mutual love of data and wildlife has manifested itself in this East London hyperlocal site.
Who are the people behind the blog?
I come upon examples of bad practice in publishing government data on a regular basis, but the Universal Jobmatch tool is an example so bad I just had to write about it. In fact, it’s worse than the old-fashioned data service that preceded it.
That older service was the Office for National Statistics’ labour market service NOMIS, which published data on Jobcentre vacancies and claimants until late 2012, when Jobcentre Plus was given responsibility for publishing the data using their Universal Jobmatch tool.
Despite a number of concerns, more than a year on, Universal Jobmatch‘s reports section has ignored at least half of the public data principles first drafted by the Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board in 2010, and published in 2012. Continue reading
When you start publishing online you move from the well-thumbed areas of defamation and libel, contempt of court and privilege and privacy to a whole new world of laws and licences.
This is a place where laws you never knew existed can be applied to your work – while other ones can come in surprisingly useful. Here are the key ones:
If people aren’t using data it isn’t just a problem for web developers – it’s a problem for journalists too. If not enough people are looking at information on crime, politics, health, education, or welfare then it makes our work harder.
On that subject, Tim Davies writes about the challenges of ‘getting data used’ and the inclination to focus on data-centric solutions. “Data quality, poor meta-data, inaccessible language, and the difficulty of finding wheat amongst the chaff of data were all diagnosed [at one hack day] as part of the problem,” he reports. “Yet these diagnosis and solutions are still based on linear thinking: when a dataset is truly accessible, then it will be used, and economic benefits will flow. Continue reading