Feeds

Boundaries Commission slammed over mega map dump

FIVE HUNDRED PDFs 'optimise clarity', say bureaucrats

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has defended its decision to release more than 500 PDF maps of proposed Parliamentary constituencies, stating that they believe they provided "an appropriate level of detail".

On 13 September the BCE launched a 12-week consultation on the layout of new constituency boundaries and published nine regional maps and 500 constituency PDFs for the public to access online. The PDFs were created by Ordnance Survey.

The decision was criticised by data journalists at the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph for lack of transparency, after the BCE did not provide a more user-friendly single UK map of the new constituency boundaries.

Alasdair Rae, an academic from the University of Sheffield, subsequently created the map from existing information available on the 8,000 electoral wards.

The BCE's decision to use PDFs was criticised by Chris Taggart, the developer of citizen projects OpenlyLocal and OpenCorporates, who told GGC that publishing in PDF was of no use to people who wanted to manipulate data.

"The problem is that organisations like the Boundary Commission decide you can only have this information in a way that you can look at, but can't do anything with," he said, adding that it undermines the commission's role to make sure information "is widely disseminated and easily reused."

A spokeswoman for the BCE told GGC: "The role of the BCE is to make recommendations for new constituency boundaries across the country. In presenting initial proposals, our overriding concern is to optimise transparency and clarity.

"We are looking to support people's involvement in the consultation, so producing regional and constituency maps ensures that an appropriate level of detail is made available to all. We hope that will result in as comprehensive a consultation process as possible."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.