At last – open data I can get excited about

mrhenderson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Thanks to the open ePetition data set from GDS, punters can now understand ePetitions a little better.  Richard Parsons has already managed to seperate out all the postcode data and map the results.  You can get the raw JSON data here : http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/faq#question11

While the map isn’t that interesting (it doesn’t take into account population density) it does highlight the potential of democratic data.  It reminded me of the work FutureGov and I did some years ago about creating a common data standard for ePetition operability in Local Government.  If only all local ePetition facilities (and GDS) had taken this onboard!

I’m going to have some fun with the data now :_)

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    You’d have thought that given DCLG commissioend the work then they would have known. I did leave a comment for them here, however : http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/2011/11/15/e-petitions-the-first-100-days/

    This highlights for me the problem with Skunkworks. Low cost is OK but a lack of wider consultation or process expertise means they churn out mediocre solutions. The USA did a much better job when they launched their online petition facility which was embarrasing as the UK have been doing this stuff for years! A simple example is this, researchers know that the optimum duration for an ePetition is 100 days yet the default is 12. Also, there is also no structured petition prayer or reference to the European Citizens Initiative.

    I hate to think what will happen with eConsultation. Just look at http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/ – not really web 2.0. One of the key points about inline consultation is that you can work out if your consultee is informed. I bet they don’t do this – i.e. figure out if people have read the background info before answering the questions.

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