Updates from July, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ric Roberts 12:58 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Progress Update: Homeless Link API 

    At the hack day back in June, I formed the winning team with Shaun Forde from Homeless Link and Dan Blundell, a software developer from Northampton. On the day, we built an API which allows access to Homeless Link’s outreach services for a particular location, by combining their data with other reference datasets from Ordnance Survey, ONS and the DCLG. I wrote up a full account of the day on my blog.

    Since the event, I’ve kept in touch with the other team members, and we’ve been exploring how we could build on what was achieved on the day. A key factor for moving this project forward is geting conceptual buy-in, from the relevant stakeholders at Homeless Link itself, that releasing some of their information in an open form is a good idea, and establishing some licensing-terms. This would give us the green flag to continue work on the API and eventually deploy it publicly.

    We showed on the day that by combining a charity’s closed data with existing geographic open data sets, the relevant information could be more easily found, and more efficiently and effectively (re)used. Perhaps we should focus on the bigger picture of opening up existing (and new) geographic datasets for use by charities by working on a tool-chain to make this easier for the normal software developer – i.e. not a hardcore geography or data nerd!

    I’m getting involved with another hack day along these lines (details soon), with the hope of coaxing out what would be helpful to charities and voluntary organisations in this regard, as well as other software developers. But a hack day is only the beginning: embarking on this kind of project is a serious undertaking and would need support and funding. If anyone has ideas or contacts for pursuing this, then I’d love to hear them.

     

     
    • Jon Foster 7:54 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ric – sorry for being so late replying to this, but I’m just thinking about potential funding for this and was wondering if you had a more specific idea what you might be seeking funding for?

      If I was approaching a funder, are we just talking about some money to finish off development? Or have you got/could you have grander plans?

      Thanks again for all you contributed to the hack day!
      Jon

      • Ric Roberts 8:16 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Jon.

        We have grand plans: one geography-linked-open-data site to rule them all.

        As we showed at the Homeless Hack day, the geographic aspect to open data is really important for connecting things together. But this is a sticking point for lots of projects, due to the complications around the different types of identifier/area/point and how they are related (as well as the licensing aspects). A developer-focused project which helps people get to the type of data they want from different starting points would be invaluable.

        If you’d like to discuss this further, please get in touch by email or phone. Cheers, Ric.

  • Jon Foster 10:27 am on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Homeless Link Database API – Hack Day Presentation June 2012 

     
  • Jon Foster 4:44 pm on June 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Homeless Link API 

    Key contact: @RicRoberts

    Built a working an API that returns data from the Homeless Link database.

    The API  uses the Homeless Link database to return all of the services available in a particular local authority based on a lat/long input.

    This has been designed to work in conjunction with Everyone In, but if publicly released could be used by anyone.

     
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