• Understanding our people and places through better information - Local Government has a wealth of data to be shared with everyone

    Local government in England currently comprises over 350 councils and their partners, each charged with delivering over 1500 different and wide-ranging services. Local democracy encourages each organisation to define its own priorities and methods of service delivery such that the electorate can influence and shape the environment and community in which they live.

  • The Local Government Association (LGA) is launching a new direct data feed. This new data service, via an Application Programmable Interface (API), will give organisations the ability to use reliable and regularly updated local area information for their own applications and systems.
  • The Society of IT Managers (Socitm) is focusing on addressing the challenges facing IT suppliers when it comes to doing business with the public sector. The society is holding a series of exclusive 'Supplier Briefing' events to share knowledge with you as suppliers to the public sectors and to help you to tackle this market even more effectively. Hearing about your own experiences and feedback at the events will also be useful to everyone!

  • Over the past few months, we've been beavering away making a heap of adjustments and additions to the toolkit. Based jointly on your feedback and our own wishlist, the latest version should be smoother and more easy to use. We're always looking for ways in which we can improve the toolkit, though, so please don't hesitate to let us know if you think there's something that can be enhanced.

  • The Association for Geographic Information would like to hear from anyone that has experience of using BS 8766, a data standard concerning names and identifiers of individuals and groups. The standard was first published in 2004 and is now up for regular review. The review will be managed by BSI's IST/36, a technical committee for geographic information chaired by Peter Parslow.

    Anyone with experience of using this standard, good or bad, is invited to contribute to the right decision about the standard, whether it should be confirmed as is, revised, or witdrawn.

  • As our community grows and develops, so too must the tools we use. It’s time to start waving goodbye to some of esd-toolkit’s original features as they’ve been replaced by newer, more powerful tools in LG Inform Plus, and you’ll find that the old website now redirects you to our new home.

  • It’s always encouraging to see something come to fruition, the final piece of the puzzle settle in. As regular readers will no doubt be aware, we’ve been running the local government incentive scheme for some time now and data has been published steadily from across the country. The benefits of open data are numerous, but recently we were lucky enough to see an early re-use of data opened up by the incentive scheme, that final piece of the puzzle.

  • The numerous benefits of an improved open data infrastructure for councils are starting to emerge. Last week, data.gov.uk announced the launch of new ‘harvesters’ (no Wurzels jokes please) to help local authorities add their datasets to the national portal. Previously, this was a one-by-one process but these new harvesters help to ease the process and speed-up the re-use of open data publishing – and local government transparency.
  • Following an update to the Transparency Code earlier this month, local authorities will need to publish more details about their activities in a similar fashion under the revised code issued by DCLG. We thought we’d let you in on a few insider tips and lessons we’ve learned during the incentive scheme, key areas on which to pay attention when compiling and publishing your data.