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Month: January 2010

Opinion: Free the Postcode? Save PlanningAlerts?

Opinion: Free the Postcode? Save PlanningAlerts?

Speaking of the sharing of data (See previous post), what I have yet to understand is why the UK government and the Royal Mail wants to keep some of this data secret/commericial?

Look at all the different local planning authorities who have to advertise and consult on planning applications.   Each council has its very own planning database and online system.  Each has a different format for publishing its weekly lists. In part due to the planning delivery grant and e-planning initiatives (eGov success story??)

Then along come wanting to make it easy for the public to see if there are planning applications in their area for free.  But to do so requires purchase of a licence for using the postcode file.  It all seems just a bit unfair, and whilst I understand the need to be able to pay for the postcode databases to be updated I think there would be cost savings to many local authorities and the public if this system was changed.  (how about free for non-commercial use to start with?)

Instead of rewarding this great idea that increases consultation and helps the citizen and local authorities, national government and the post office seem reluctant to share… and for the sake of a few million pounds.

Public Launch of

Public Launch of

This is exciting news! Are we one step closer to free Ordnance Survey Data?   We’ve paid for this data now hopefully we can use it to make mash ups and useful websites (or not). acts as an online point of access for government-held non-personal data. This is to enable people like you to take it, re-use it and make interesting things with.

And with this news is now back online, for those who don’t know what it is, well it takes planning application weekly lists and allows users to view on a map or recieve email/rss feeds of applications within a given distance of their postcodes.   Some authorities are not yet on this system, but its such an obvious one, you have to wonder why this is just part of the e-Planning delivery service.   Think about the possibilities for public consultation!

GeoPlanIT Recommends: Ogle Earth: A blog about virtual globes

GeoPlanIT Recommends: Ogle Earth: A blog about virtual globes

If you like Google Earth, you should bookmark this website:

GeoPlanIT Recommends: James Fee Blog

GeoPlanIT Recommends: James Fee Blog

I like visiting reading blog, and as an ESRI user I find it very interesting, may I suggest you have a read?  I especially liked this post:
5 Predictions Geo for 2010 and 5 Things That Won’t Happen

HP DesignJet 500 and Windows 7: Yes it does work even without the HPGL2 card!

HP DesignJet 500 and Windows 7: Yes it does work even without the HPGL2 card!

Updated (04/12/2012): To include information about how to get the 450c to work with Windows 8 after a conversation with @AlbanyDriver on twitter.   I also think this technqiue will probably work for Windows 8 as well.

Updated (22/June/2012):
Updated (08/May/2010): this post was partially rewritten to clarify which file you should download.

Unbelievably this is the most popular post on my blog, I honestly get 1000+ hits a month just on this page.   If you like it and have more to add please send me a message or add a comment below.   Thank you for reading!


Okay this is a quick one, if you have a HP DesignJet 500 without that HPGL2 card and want to upgrade to Windows 7 (or 8) or have done so and can’t seem to get it to work, try the following.

We use our HP DesignJet for all things GIS and AutoCAD so it’s important we have this working!

You may have noticed that HP only has Windows 7 drivers for the DJ500 with the HPGL2 card in the driver package called either:

  • HP Designjet 500, 510, and 800 HP-GL/2 and HP RTL 32-bit Driver or
  • HP Designjet 500, 510, and 800 HP-GL/2 and HP RTL 64-bit Driver

So don’t download those drivers, make sure you download the drivers from Vista equivalent (in my case Vista 32bit).  This file is called either:

  • HP DesignJet 500 PCL3GUI 32-bit Driver  or
  • DesignJet 500 PCL3GUI 64-bit Driver

Click here to go direct to the HP DJ 500 driver download site.

Add your printer in the usual way in Windows 7, (if you are adding it over the network you may want to look at my previous post).

After the install it will ask if you want to Print a Test Page, it was here that I was getting an error message (about the HP driver not being able to connect to the printer) and just assumed it wasn’t working. If you get an error message and no test page try this:

  • Select the printer in the printer browser, and view the printer properties.
  • On the page with the print test page button there is another button next to it called printing preferences, click on this and it should bring up a dialog box stating that the printer is now connected.
  • Now try to print that test page.

Okay so I don’t know why I couldn’t print the test page straight off but accessing the designjets plotter preferences did help.

Again if this post is not clear, or you require any help, just let me know.

Have you got an HP 450C and want it to work with Windows 8 (32bit)? @AlbanyDriver got in contact and asked me if I could help, after some searching on forums about making it work on Windows 7, I suggested he used the Windows XP 32bit drivers which seemed to work!

Updated Link Added for my previous post adding printers over a network:

Seasons Greetings and a belated Happy New Year!

Seasons Greetings and a belated Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas break, normal blogging will resume shortly….