We love Open Data
There have been many times in mySociety’s history when, while building one of our websites, we have needed a tool or a data feed that does not yet exist.
When that happens, we often build them ourselves. Then, because they are generally useful for other people making websites like ours, wherever possible we share them with the wider world.
Administrative Areas & Postcodes
If your project depends on matching a user to a constituency, you probably need MapIt.
MapIt is the technology which knows which council to send a FixMyStreet report to, when the user sticks a pin in a map. It also tells WriteToThem users which MP they should be contacting, once they’ve entered their postcode.
MapIt is our service that maps UK postcodes and geographical points to administrative areas such as region, constituency, council or ward; MapIt Global does the same, but internationally. Both also give information on administrative area boundaries in a variety of formats.
API access is free for low volume, charitable use; we can also offer commercial licences – see more at MapIt.
Need a list of every MP, or perhaps you’d like to analyse the text of parliamentary debates? Our parliamentary site TheyWorkForYou provides data feeds of all kinds, on politicians, debates and constituencies, via API or RSS access.
It’s useful for a variety of purposes: MPs use it on their own websites to provide a feed of their own recent appearances in Parliament; newspapers use it to generate stories about how often this or that topic has been mentioned. And all kinds of projects benefit from having an accessible list of all current representatives.
API access is free for low volume, charitable use; we can also offer commercial licences – see more at TheyWorkForYou.
Transit Time Maps
Sometimes, it’s more useful to know a journey time than it is to know the distance: that’s why people often refer to ‘an hour’s commute’ rather than ‘40 miles’.
Mapumental is a beautiful tool to show public transport travel times, from or to a chosen postcode, on a timebanded map. These can be embedded in websites, apps or online tools, or used for internal research purposes.
To date, uses have included property mapping for estate agents, response time mapping for fire engines, and accessibility mapping for local government.
See the Mapumental API.
Freedom of Information
Access any UK local authority’s new, current, updated or published FOI requests using WhatDoTheyKnow‘s RSS feeds. Alternatively, use the API in your application to receive new requests, publish responses and proactively disclose direct requests.
WhatDoTheyKnow data is often used on local community sites. Campaigning websites can also use it to encourage users to make requests on a certain subject.
Local street problems
Show reported problems, comments and updates in your local street, park or city using FixMyStreet’s RSS feeds.
FixMyStreet is a popular addition to community and local websites.