countculture

Open data and all that

OpenlyLocal new features: RSS feeds, wards, calendars

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Time for a quick update on OpenlyLocal.com — the website that opens up local government in an accessible and consistent way (a sort of local government TheyWorkForYou). Since the last post announcing the site I’ve added quite a few new features, as well as a fair bit of tweaking to the back-end .

The main ones are:

  • Loads more councils (we have now opened up over 65 councils, with info on more than 4000 councillors and 2300 committees). If you council isn’t there give me a nudge and I’ll see what we can do
  • Keyword filtering of committee minutes and agendas. So if you want to find a council’s minutes and agendas featuring Tesco, for example you can now do that.

    Brighton Council minutes/agendas with keyword 'Tesco'

  • RSS feeds for minutes and agendas, including ones restricted to keywords. Just click on the RSS feed link at the bottom of the page.
  • Even more Calendar feeds. You can now subscribe to a calendar for a whole council, an individual councillor, or a particular council committee.
  • Added Wards to the information we’re extracting from websites.
  • Added RDFa markup, to allow integration with other datasets and become part of the semantic web.
  • Plus tons of backend improvements making it easier for me to add new councils, and loads of bugfixes

There’s still a long way to go, but OpenlyLocal does feel as if it’s moved a little beyond the proof-of-concept stage and is now genuinely useful for local democracy.

Written by countculture

September 1, 2009 at 11:53 am

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