countculture

Open data and all that

Full List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API)

with 29 comments

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.

Plus the XML and Json feeds also include extra information (all which on the HTML version is on the info page for each council):

  • 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

Picture 3

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.

Written by countculture

September 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

29 Responses

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  1. Great resource! Thanks for pulling this together. Highly relevent to want I’m doing with the Knowledge Hub #khub

    Steve Dale

    September 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm

  2. […] Full List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API) « countculture (tags: data localauthority local uk government gov20) […]

  3. Thanks Count. Excellent resource.

    Hugh Flouch

    September 12, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  4. […] Full List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API) « countculture – 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. […]

  5. You might be interested in the OpenPSI project (http://www.openpsi.org)

    You will find the Ordnance Survey Administrative Geography in a queriable service and a link to a tutorial to demonstrate how to create a data mash-up using the data services.

    http://www.openpsi.org/?page_id=58

    John Darlington

    September 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

  6. […] transparent and accountable DigigovFull List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API) CountCultureOpening up local government information Chris Taggart’s presentation to Advisory Panel on […]

  7. […] transparent and accountable DigigovFull List of UK Councils now online (and accessible via API) CountCultureOpening up local government information. Chris Taggart’s presentation to Advisory Panel on […]

    September #5 « take21

    October 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm

  8. This is really useful – saves us a lot of typing and checking. Dont really understand the snac_id but it appears to be unique so is acting as a useful key for us; except the ‘Greater London Authority’ doesnt have one – is it missing? or does it just not apply to this authority?

    June

    October 12, 2011 at 9:17 am

    • The snac_id is the ID given to councils by the Office of National Statistics. It’s being replaced by the GSS code. Unfortunately the ONS doesn’t issue one for the GLA, so you’re better off using the Ordnance Survey ID, or the OpenlyLocal ID if you need an ID that covers all authorities.
      Glad you’re finding it useful — that’s the point — just a reminder re the Share-Alike Attribution requirements, which allow free reuse even commercially as long as you attribute as required and publish the resultant work under the same Share-Alike Attribution licence.

      countculture

      October 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

  9. When I open it, every field is filled with address details – anyone know why or if there is an alternative download (i.e. like the screen shot above!)?

    Spencer

    February 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    • Pls ignore last comment – was viewing in Basic – clicked on Full sheet! Great resources Countculture…. do you create many of these type of data sheets – other public/private sectors etc?

      Spencer

      February 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

  10. This looks like a very helpful list, i was wondering if this is up to date? I am probably mistaken but i was under the impression there were only about 325 LAs in the UK now?

    James F

    July 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    • Yes, we believe so.

      countculture

      July 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

      • Thanks very much. Saved a huge amount of work on my part.

        James F

        July 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

  11. Thanks a lot! Saved me hours of work!

    Stephen Davie

    August 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  12. Hi

    I’m unable to open the google spreadsheet with the full list of councils, addresses and websites etc

    Please help!

    NC

    November 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    • This is probably because the Google Spreadsheet has lots the cached version of the Full list (which in turn feeds the basic version). If you click on the ‘Full’ tab, wait for that to populate, and then look at the ‘Basic’ version it should work OK

      countculture

      November 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm

  13. This is a fantastic resource! Thank you so much for it. A request/suggestion: In the web-based sort I can sort by England/Scotland/etc. In the spreadsheet this data is not present? I’ll just have to weed out (I only need England, so most will be relevant) but if you were ever so inclined that would be a helpful addition!

    Kayla

    November 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    • You should be able to look at the spreadsheet code and duplicate the spreadsheet for your own purposes, as it just sucks the data up from the API.

      countculture

      November 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

  14. Hi, the list just doesn’t populate, tried the full/basic routine but no data

    greggo

    March 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    • Try now. Site was having some problems temporarily

      countculture

      March 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

  15. Hi there

    I can’t find how I export that data into an excel spreadsheet, like yours. When I do it, the formatting is all over the place. Any ideas?

    Gabby

    April 19, 2013 at 9:41 am

  16. Thank you very much indeed – a real labour of love – has really saved my bacon! Best of luck to you

    Ambrose Hudson

    May 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

  17. Hi there, Counterculture I promise to buy you a beer for every hour of time you have saved with this. It is truly fantastic! Thank you!

    Patrick

    August 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  18. Many thanks for your work. I simply would not have had the time to do this without it. Likewise, I owe you a beer.

    Steve

    March 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  19. This looks like exactly what I need, but the spreadsheets do not populate. Am I being an idiot?

    chris

    June 21, 2015 at 5:54 am

  20. is this still maintained? The list is not populating…

    ianground

    April 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    • Nope. Sorry. OpenlyLocal closed a while ago

      countculture

      April 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm


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