2.0 Be Or Not 2.0 Be?

We now have a rival website! Built by a developer who works for one of our partners! Have a look to see what he has produced and what motivated him to develop it. Don’t worry, the current website you’re looking at won’t go away and neither will the data, but we’re very keen to find out how we could improve it. So we want to set you a challenge…See if you could develop something better! Read on..

Prototyping Protopage

Open Kent, in essence, is a platform to group together and publish open data in an electronic format suitable for re-publishing. So lets open that sentence up a bit.

Open data: this is data covered by the National Archives Open Government Licence – for public sector information.

Electronic format suitable for re-publishing: a format that makes it easy for machines (computers) to read and process the data, so that it can be re-published or presented in a different, hopefully more useful or intuitive way. By way of explanation an RSS feed would be an example of electronic re-publishable data. These feeds typically are found at news sites like the BBC News. The format allows an RSS client to inspect and display news items based on your selection. Hopefully this results in a list of selected news items you are interested in and chops out the one you are not interested in without you having to read through the item first – to see you are not interested in it!

Open Kent is trying to do this with all its open data, except instead of an RSS feed it’s using its bigger brother called an ATOM feed. ATOM feeds are more extensible or flexible than RSS. In the spirit of DIY data publishing, there is a conventional web site to publish the data feeds and visualisations, but I’ve also created a more social website. The Open Kent Web2.0 site presents the same information but in a much more user centric (Web2.0) way.

In fact you can set-up your own site at Protopage for free, and so not only set-up your own way of displaying information, its an easy process to select out and display only the bits of data you find useful without having to sift through all the data on our site.

Now it’s over to you!

So we want to set you a challenge…See if you could develop something better! Feel free to use our API and leave a comment below with weblinks to better versions of Open Kent! If you’re not a developer, not to worry, tell us how we could improve the website.

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