Feeds

UK police crime map website: Who's the victim here?

Do a man dirt, yourself you hurt

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Not that great, but at least it cost a lot

"I'm just hoping that they pay for my bandwidth, and if I am really lucky I get a beer for my efforts.”

We think West, who like so many others in the UK developer community welcomes the government’s efforts on getting some datasets opened up, certainly does deserve a pint or two if for nothing else highlighting what can be done with very few funds, a solid developer brain and eight hours to kill.

The unregistered Police.uk domain has been in existence for 15 years, since about the middle of 1996. It has undergone several incarnations during that time, but in recent years its pages were somewhat surprisingly bereft of any content.

As for the government’s crime-mapping efforts, a separate project was launched in October 2009. Rock Kitchen Harris designed an interactive mapping system for British citizens to compare crime figures across England and Wales using data garnered from 43 police forces. In that instance, the company powered its maps via Microsoft's Bing offering rather than Google’s geocoding API.

Beyond that there was something very similar about the launch: the site unceremoniously crashed under the load from people keen to sift through the data online. A visit to that site now tells us that this service “has now been integrated into the Police.uk website, and includes street-level crime data and many other enhancements.”

Following the launch of Police.uk earlier this week, data inaccuracies have been repeatedly reported by people getting the wrong results or none at all after punching their postcode into the system.

Meanwhile, Rock Kitchen Harris’s account manager Paul Sculthorpe has been defending his company’s expensive project via Twitter.

“We scaled with demand (to a point!) with EC2, but still ended up slow/unusable. Demand high now, but normal soon I hope!” he said.

So while some credit is due to the government for releasing the datasets, even if they are made available in unsatisfactory monthly chunks, the way it presented the whole thing has left many coders wondering why the hell it had to cost so much.

“In these times of austerity, I just hate to see my money to be wasted in this way. With just a bit of lateral thinking, I am sure the government could save us all a bit of money,” said West. We’ll certainly drink to that. ®

*For the benefit of our friend at the Home Office, the API is here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.