Tag Archives: mashups

Pic and Mix for Data Mashups

I’m a bit late posting this, but isn’t that always the way when talking about your own stuff! Over the past few months I have working with Kent County Council to help deliver their Pic and Mix project. Description from the site:

Pic and Mix aims to increase public access to Kent-related datasets including those generated by Kent County Council (KCC). For the purposes of the pilot, we have brought together a sample of the most useful information. Where possible, it’s been provided in a format that allows it to be ‘mashed’ and customised. Please help us shape this initiative by suggesting additional data and ways in which we can improve this site. And if you do anything clever with the data, we’d like you to share that with us too! …more

Initially Applied Trends was involved on the training side, and designed and delivered a training and informational package to the pilot group of users.  Later on we redesigned the public facing site and launched what you see today as Pic and Mix.

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Rather than offer my own glowing views on the project, here are some excerpts from Simon Wakeman’s blog who is Head of Marketing at Medway Council in south east England.

The site (picandmix.org.uk/) has two main parts. First up the data section shows all the different data sets that the council has managed to make available – as RSS or Excel downloads.

The second part of the site allows users to post mash-ups that they’ve produced with the data – for example using Google Maps or Yahoo Pipes.

It’s early days so there aren’t all that many mash-ups posted yet, although some early ones do give an obvious nod to the potential of this kind of thing in the future – for example the “schools by postcode” map is a simple mash-up that I would have found useful this time last yer when looking at primary schools for my son – in fact there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be on the main council site before long I expect.

At the moment most mash-ups are combining a single data set and a visualising tool (mainly maps). It’ll be interesting to see when someone posts a mash-up of multiple data sources as for me this is where the value of open data really starts to be demonstrated.

Hats off to Kent County Council for doing this – hopefully it will show other public bodies the potential for open data and we’ll start to see this kind of functionality appearing more often on main council websites.

I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks Simon.