As you may have noticed, we at data.gov.uk have been gradually rolling out a number of new features. Many of these come from suggestions from the community, such as in response to our request for your ideas for improving data.gov.uk in the forum. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to get involved in the forum discussions or the mailing list, or have contacted us directly via the contact form. All feedback is always welcome, so please do keep it coming.
We have added the ability for users to filter their initial search results by resource type. If you know you are looking for a CSV, XML, RDF, or JSON source, you can quickly drill down and see what is available. We have also added the ability for you to quickly find out what we have added to the site most recently. Simply use the ‘last updated’ search filter on search pages or use the all-data search to use this.
With lots of datasets available to access under the Open Government Licence, we’re aware that discovering the data you want and is relevant to you is critical. You can now browse through different government bodies using the new publisher hierarchy. This lets you see what datasets each body and its reporting family have put out. If you’re not sure what you’d like to find, you can even use our “lucky dip” random dataset feature.
We are also aware that finding a dataset that might be of interest is only part of the work. Once found, you can preview it using the ‘view on Zoho’ link below the download option. This lets you to quickly see the datasets from within your browser and can help save download large files which then turn out not to be of interest.
We did an accessibility review of the site with colleagues at the Digital Accessibility Centre in South Wales. Following this we have added access keys, skip to content links and a number of Internet Explorer 6 enhancements and improvements. As part of this, we have improved the homepage carousel that allows us to highlight the latest news on policy announcements and new data and applications. Recent examples include the launch of the Public Data Corporation, the Police.UK crime maps, and asking what data you would like us to unlock.
If you work in local or central government, we have a simple how-to-guide which takes you through the process of how to publish your data onto data.gov.uk step by step.
Finally, for the more developer-minded of you, do look at the daily metadata dumps available in CSV & JSON format. Meta-data records for individual datasets are also available on each dataset page in the right hand navigation column.
Our thanks as always to those of you who have signed-up and joined the data.gov.uk community. We have several thousand members who are able to contribute to the forum and wiki and comment across the site on blog posts, datasets, applications and ideas. If you’ve yet to register, you can sign up as a community member.
Do stay in touch with the project and continue to let us know your feedback via comments below, the contact form or on Twitter @DataGovUk. And to end on a social note, do take advantage of the social media sharing options across the site and spread the word.