04 Oct 2012, 18:12

From tiny CSV acorns, many #OpenData oaks can grow. Now where is Ireland's CIO/CTO?


#“From tiny CSV acorns, many #OpenData oaks can grow. Now where is Ireland’s CIO/CTO?”

This has been a superb week in Ireland for showing what motivated geeks can do with even the most clunky of Government data. After the Oireachtas XML debacle, it was a joy to see the new Residential Property Price Register site make its data available. Sure, it was poxy old CSV files per year and it wasriddled with errors but I really am pleased with what it triggered.

Within hours of the data going up, we had:

  1. Properties by Price Range
  2. A merged Excel spreadsheet
  3. YellowSchedule with a great search interface
  4. A Heroku-based App with Search
  5. My import into Google Fusion Tables and the (patchy) Geo-Coding of the data
And by the end of the week we also had:
  1. Another searchable site with maps
  2. Mapquest-based Geo-Coding
  3. Others?
In fact the only thing we seem to be missing is someone sticking a JSON API in the front of the data. UPDATE: See comment below from Brendan. Nice one!

I hope those working on data in the Public Sector take encouragement and ideas from this. Most of what was done took very little work. I’m sure many of the people involved would be only too happy to share their technical approaches.

If we all keep leading by example, I expect the quality and quantity of Public Sector Web Services and Data to improve in leaps and bounds over the next 12 months.

Three years ago next week, I suggested a regular BarCamp called IRLCamp where public sector and private sector get together and present interesting projects, ideas and technologies and learn from each other. I still think we should do this.

Three years later we still need a CIO/CTO for Ireland too.

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