UK Police Crime Maps – A Missed Opportunity

by on February 2, 2011

The new UK crime maps have plenty to commend them

  • Built on open source technology
  • Uses cloud technology at Amazon
  • Uses Google maps

All of these are relatively low cost solutions compared to standard public sector IT projects which would have

  • Used commercial solutions with resultant licence fees
  • Purchased lots of dedicated servers for just this
  • Paid out a large amount in fees to the Ordnance Survey

The one thing that puzzles us is that when they have made the datasets available to the public, instead of using the more common latitude and longditude (which Google maps uses) they’ve used Easting and Northing, which while a perfectly correct mapping co-ordinate, isn’t one that can be quickly imported in Google, Bing or Yahoo maps.

To display the markers on Google maps, they’ll have had to convert the Northern and Easting co-ordinates to the latitude and longitude anyhow.

Perhaps they’re not keen after all on people creating their own versions of these maps.

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