What is the OpenDataDeveloper API?The OpenDataDeveloper API is an online service that returns UK crime, economic deprivation, health, and other Open Data for a given geographic area, such as postcode or postcode sector.
The beauty of this API is that the source data is provided entirely by UK Government sources, unedited and unmodelled. We use data from sources such as The Home Office, Ordnance Survey, The Met Office, Department for Transport, and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
What data do we have?The following datasets are available via our API:
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What can you do with this API?Using the API you can now ask really interesting questions of our Government's data, for example:
- Drug Prescription
- Economic Deprivation
- Health Prevalence
- Road Accidents
- How many road accidents involving motorcycles happened in the BN1 1 postcode sector during 2010?
- How many road accidents resulted in fatalities within the CR postcode area during 2010?
- How many drivers under 25 years old were involved in road accidents within the SW11 postcode district during 2010?
- ...and how does this compare with 2011 in the same postcode district?
Isn't this data free anyway?Yes, the data is freely available on data.gov.uk and other UK Government department websites. Unfortunately, the formats of these data sets can be different and often extremely large making the interpretation of this valuable data very cumbersome, and often out of reach.
For some of the datasets, specialist database knowledge and resources are needed in order to download each data set, convert the location elements provided in the data sets to a full UK postcode, and be able to interrogate the final data. Repeating this process monthly to retrieve the latest updates also takes significant time.
OpenDataDeveloper's API provides a common uniform approach to accessing this data that will be understandable to IT developers available in your organisation. The API can be easily integrated with your current systems using standard techniques.
How do I use the API?The purpose of this API is to lower the technical barrier to access this significant data. That said, there still needs to be some appreciation of how to use an API. As you can see from the links above, the answers are provided in a XML format (and others). At the very simplest, access to the data can be viewed directly in a web browser. However, it is much more likely that this API will be used by creating a small simple program that can be integrated into your current systems, or as a standalone. This way multiple requests against the API can made very quickly and the results analysed much more effectively.
You may think that creating these programs may be difficult, but they're not. There are many script writers out there that can help for very low cost. It all depends what you want done, and if you need help OpenDataDeveloper can also provide these services. The API adheres to current standards and is very easy to understand.
Who would use this?Anyone who requires detailed research and comparisons at a very local level.
In particular this API would be well-suited to perform regional analysis (in particular Postcode Area, District or Sector) of several indicators, such as Crime or Economic Deprivation. The API would also be a great resource for Insurance Companies to use as most of the indicators are available at a very local level (postcode, or lower super output area) allowing a more accurate appraisal of risk than what is conventionally available.
Usage of this API assumes you have a basic understanding of the formatting of UK postcodes.