MP Map: What you can do with Ajaxified snakeoil

Bill Thompson has a right go at Web 2.0 and all that as “Ajaxified snakoil” with homemade data exchange formats amd inconsistent architectures, instead of a model of distributed objects messaging each other nicely.

But isn’t it cool what you can do? Just look at Simon Dickson’s mashup of TheyWorkForYou and Google Maps – giving an interactive map of constuencies, allowing you to pick out your MP, and see what they’ve been up to. (Update: I missed the need for non-Londoners to hit a button to reveal their MPs)

Simon concludes:

I’m wondering if e-government should throw in the towel, and shift its focus from producing websites to producing web services. In other words, create databases visible to the outside world, and let others do the presentation.

Maybe we should go for it, and hope that at some point in the future the data standards catch up? The computer scientist would hate that…


About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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5 Responses to MP Map: What you can do with Ajaxified snakeoil

  1. My map does cover all 646 constituencies… but the starting view only shows the London area. As you might imagine, a map with 646 dots is a bit overwhelming. (I tried it, trust me!) But if you click on the region buttons in the top right of the screen, you’ll be able to see the rest. (You’re actually not the first to miss these buttons… I’ll have a look at making them more prominent.)

  2. Ah, that makes sense, thanks! I wonder if you can overlay some icons to make it more obvious? I certainly missed the buttons at the top of the screen.

    For what it’s worth, Ann McGuire’s Stirling constituency seems to have been shifted about 30 miles to the west. Apparently she lives up a mountain somewhere to the west of Callander – an inevitable problem I guess 🙂

    One other suggestion (if the data supports it) could be to put dates against the Commons activity record.

  3. The coordinates provided are the centre point of the constituency’s bounding box, which, given Stirling itself is at the bottom right of Ann McGuire’s constituency which stretches all the way to Tyndrum, seems perfectly accurate to me. 🙂 Dates should be available too, yes.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Matthew
    Did you see Simon’s comments on using the existing TWFY API? Might be some ideas there for changes if you ever move to a version 2 of the XML API.

  5. Pingback: project.findless » New menu feature on MP Map

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