If you follow me on a social network you might have noticed me repeatedly jumping up and shouting look at me I’ve been on TV…. for this I apologise. I was interviewed as part of a piece BBC Sunday Politics Show was doing about Cumbria’s broadband somewhat stalled initiative. A local community group called Fibre GarDen was well represented, these guys I am pretty sure will be installing their own Fibre optic data network very soon. I am helping also them out with some mapping.
Cumbria as a geographic area I think has a lot of online maps and they all vary in quality and usability. Sometimes it looks like the people who are operating them haven’t told other departments what they are doing…. to be fair they probably have but red tape has got in the way…
As a resident I shouldn’t have to check 5 different online maps to check out what’s happening in my area. I certainly shouldn’t have to learn how each one operates!(look I used bold and underline I must be serious)
I can’t help wondering why no one is trying to get a national government mapping organisation whereby everyone gets the same online mapping frontend/interface but is in charge of their own data. A bit like the Planning Portal but for publishing data not just receiving it. If people think this can’t be done, I think people working on the EU’s INSPIRE directive might say otherwise.
What I would like to see is web mapping become central not just an after thought to local and national government websites. Yes there is a place of localisation (depending on usage, tourism, history etc…). But a national web mapping site is needed so we can seamlessly browse geographically adjacent datasets. This would be great not just for residents but also policy makers, politicians and professionals. Imagine for example, seeing planning statistics and local plans for neighbouring authorities on one seamless map? Local councillors could see how neighbouring areas with similar demographics are doing. Think how easy consultation with neighbouring councils could be!
Enough of my musings, I’m off to make a map for a local authority in Iraq….
So I jumped on the band wagon and bought myself a Raspberry PI. Basically to see if I could recapture my youth of C64s and the like. I suspect this will end much as it did when I was young…. I’ll break it…. 🙂
Anyway I thought I might look at putting QGIS on it, I’ll let you know how it goes….