mySociety

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

mySociety is an e-democracy project of the UK-based registered charity named UK Citizens Online Democracy, that aims to build "socially focused tools with offline impacts". It was founded by Tom Steinberg in September 2003,[1] and started activity after receiving a £250,000 grant in September 2004. Steinberg says that mySociety was inspired by a collaboration with his then-flatmate James Crabtree which spawned Crabtree's article "Civic hacking: a new agenda for e-democracy".[2][3]

Projects[edit]

  • Alaveteli[4] - international right to know software
  • e-petitions[5]
  • FixMyStreet[6] — a map based application that helps people inform their local authority of problems needing their attention, such as broken streetlamps etc.
  • FixMyTransport[7] - a site for contacting any transport operator in Britain about problems with public transport.
  • Gaze[8] — a gazetteer web service
  • Hassleme[9]Because your mother can't remind you of everything, a website that sends reminders sporadically.
  • HearFromYourMP[10] — a site encouraging MPs to email their constituents.
  • MapIt[11] - maps postcodes and points to current or past administrative area information and polygons for all the United Kingdom.
  • Mapumental[12] — with support from Channel4ip[13] this project uses isochrone maps to show accessibility from any location in Great Britain using public transport.[14][15][16][17][18] Mapumental also underlies the property-search website.[19]
  • PledgeBank — runs pledges on all topics, of the form: "I will do x if y people agree to do the same."
  • SayIt[20] — hyperlinked, searchable means of publishing transcripts which can then be browsed by name, date or keyword.
  • TheyWorkForYou — tracks speeches and activities of Members of Parliament, including presenting an accessible version of Hansard
  • Travel-time maps[21] — maps showing how long it takes to travel on public transport to a given destination, expanded in 2007.[22][23]
  • WhatDoTheyKnow[24][25] — a site designed to help people find out (through Freedom of Information requests) what the British government and public services are doing. The site receives over 30,000 unique visitors a week.[26]
  • WriteToThem[27] — provides contact details for elected representatives at all levels of UK government, and users can send messages to them directly from the site (formerly FaxYourMP).

Previous projects[edit]

Office of Public Sector information[edit]

In response to the EU Directive on Reuse of Public Sector Information 2005,[30] the UK government created an Office of Public Sector Information[31] to promote public sector information reuse. OPSI now runs a government data unlocking service[32] to help people find and reuse government data with licensing or format restrictions.

In March 2006 The Guardian started a "Free our Data" campaign,[33] which got Inspire[34] a proposal for free open geodata, passed into EU law.

In April 2007, Cabinet Office Minister Hilary Armstrong commissioned Ed Mayo and mySociety director Tom Steinberg to draft a "Power of Information Review" on how the government could serve the public's information needs better.[35] The resulting report[36] led Cabinet Minister Tom Watson, MP to create a Power of Information Task Force.[37][38] They launched the ShowUsABetterWay competition[39] to award £20,000 to the best application reusing public government data.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]