Over the last three days we’ve been working on a side project. A design exercise if you like.
We’ve been thinking about the beta Data.gov.uk repository, and wanted to explore putting some of the information contained within into people’s hands in a form that is accessible, timely, and relevant.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, we thought a good way to do that was with a newspaper. So here it is, the Postcode Paper:
It’s a prototype of a service for people moving into a new area. In our exercise we imagined you might receive it after paying your council tax for the first time.
It gathers information about your area, such as local services, environmental information and crime statistics.
It’s not just data from central government – we also scraped TFL for travel times, and ITO generated us a bespoke spider map of transport options in our area.
And there’s stuff from the NHS and the council.
We printed 50, and gave them out to a room full of civil servants, who seemed very excited its possibilities. Hopefully it’ll find its way around Whitehall over the next couple of weeks, acting as a demonstration of the kind of stuff people want to make with all this data that government has. And maybe that’ll encourage some more data to get opened up to the public.
Obviously it was thrown together quickly as a design exercise, it’s very prototypey, and there will be many mistakes. But it’s a great demo of what kind of services are possible with data-driven paper. And we’re quite excited by that.