Full List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API)
Sometimes you just have to get on with it. After adding a few more UK Local authorities to OpenlyLocal this weekend (we’ve now opened up information from over 70 councils), I bit the bullet and added basic entries for all the remaining UK local authorities.
[Props should go to Dane at the excellent eGovernment Register who gave me permission to use the basic info I got from there for open distribution, though other restrictions may apply -- the ONS info is Crown Copyright, for example.]
What use is that, if we’re not yet extracting the councillors, committees and meetings information from them?
Plenty, because it now means you can get programmatic access to the Full List of UK councils in one place, at one url: http://OpenlyLocal.com/councils/all. You can also get the data as XML or Json just by adding .xml or .json to the url.
- Basic info for the council — address, telephone number, website
- The ONS SNAC ids used by central govt to refer to Local Authorities
- The WhatDoTheyKnow id, so you can tie into Freedom of Information requests for that council
- Plus — for those councils that we’ve opened up democratic data for — councillors, committees and wards
If there are any errors (some of this info has been added by hand, after all, do let me know in the comments), and I’ll aim to get them sorted straight away .
Till then, I’ll leave you with an example of how to use this data — I’ve created a Google Spreadsheet of All UK Local Authorities from it (using the ImportXML function): http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AhOqra7su40fdFNybEV6TlFGR1hQNHY5T0hQUDduUnc&hl=en_GB
I’ve made it accessible to all, so you could just go ahead and download it to you computer, or create a copy of it on Google Spreadsheets, and use it as the basis for your hack/analysis, FoI investigation or whatever. (For those who want to understand how it works, have a look at the the functions — the main one is ImportXML, which is not well documented, but you can get by with trial-and-error and a bit of Googling).
Alternatively, have a play with the XML feed in Yahoo Pipes. Have fun.