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London's City Hall
A recent trend within the UK government is one of providing access to the data sets they hold to the public. It appears to me at least that the thinking behind this is that transparency is promoted, the public may well come up with ways of using the data that are useful to everyone, and after all the public has paid for the creation of these data sets and so it seems correct that they should have access to it.

Not too long ago I attended a meeting at London's amazing city hall which focused on the Greater London Authority's contribution to this movement, The London Datastore. For someone like myself who develops compelling rich interactive digital media for a living it was obvious that here is a rich source of potential to tell a story using this data and Flash / Flex.

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You did read correctly. That does say "Hack" and "The Government" in one sentence.

People often misuse the word hack. It originally meant "to solve a problem" and a group of developers, designers and statisticians got together in London over the weekend to solve the "What cool things can you build with publicly accessible government data?" question.

Being a Flash and Flex programmer naturally I thought it might be good idea to do an interactive data visualisation of some sort.


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Isn't it great when digital work lasts longer than 5 min? I recently updated a piece I did exactly a year ago for The Economist's annual World In project.

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Flash on the Beach 200924 September 2009

Flash on the Beach 2009
The first part of this week was spent in Brighton attending the 2009 edition of Flash on the Beach. I had heard good things about it and I was not disappointed. I have come away feeling injected with inspiration, something that had been replaced by fatigue after some demanding deadlines recently. This is filed under 'Work'. I am not sure it should be, it was way too much fun.

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If you have been following the posts on this blog you will know about a 'proof of concept' prototype I built for The Economist earlier in the year. This post is about the refinement of that work into online interactive content now published on The Economist website.

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The Economist put forward the idea that an interactive chart to display some of their data over different time spans would be a great piece of content for their website. What better technology is there for web based interactive charting than Flex? Especially when there are brilliant third party libraries of code developed to achieve just that, such as Flare.

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The World in 2009 is the 23rd edition of The Economist's annual collection of predictions for the year ahead with views from journalists, politicians and business people.

This year's edition has two interactive online pieces looking at Countries and Industries in 2009. I was responsible for all the Actionscript and PHP coding.

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