… Open Data Councils
In December and January I contacted the most open data friendly councils to ask them of the possibility of adding open data on public toilets.
An ‘Open Data Friendly Council’ was determined by OpenlyLocal.com’s UK Councils Open Data Scoreboard, which at the time stood at about 40 ‘truly open’ councils (although I skipped the County Councils (not responsible for toilets) and a couple others (data newbies))
A lot of emails, web forms and ignored website survey pop-ups (sorry) later, and I’ve had some very positive responses (and quite a lot of silence. Still, no one’s said ‘no’!)
So here’s an updated list of (and links to) public toilet open data:
- Lichfield District Council
- Lincoln City Council
- London Borough of Brent – Possibly ‘The Original’ (certainly the first one I found), and still the only one on data.gov.uk. Anyone know why this is? How is data.gov.uk updated?
- London Borough of Sutton – Covering Sutton Town Centre. I still don’t understand this dataset. It’s called ‘Disabled’, not ‘Public’ toilets and I think it genuinely means it; i.e. Disabled Toilets, not Disabled Public Toilets. Therefore it should include all restaurants etc, since it’s a legal requirement, but you might feel that you have to be a customer to use their loo. Does that make sense? In any case, there’s also this London Borough of Sutton Community Toilet Scheme data, whose toilets anyone can use, customer or not. Provided by Adrian Short
- London Borough of Wandsworth*- One day I’ll have to stop peddling this as it’s not hosted by the Council and therefore not updated (data is from 21-Sept 2010). But I live there, I’m biased and it’s my list. It also includes an extensive Community Toilet Scheme and therefore more toilets than any other dataset, so there! Provided by James Cousins.
- Manchester City Council – This was already up before I started emailing (like Brent & Sutton) but again, not on Data.gov.uk
- Salford City Council – One lone toilet, and therefore a personal favourite :)
- Sunderland City Council
- Surrey Heath Borough Council
- Tandridge District Council
* [UPDATE: Wandsworth published their official open data in Jan 2011 – including a very extensive community scheme and long/lat co-ordinates. Link is here.]
Some other councils have been very helpful, adding Public Toilets to their open data ‘To-Do’ list (if it wasn’t already there), with some giving feedback about why it takes time:
- Aberdeen City Council
- Pendle Borough Council
- Trafford District Council
- Walsall Council
Next, I need to get in touch with the councils that kindly participated in our initial public toilet provider research, and get their views (none of whom are in particularly ‘open’ councils, data-wise. Should be interesting!)
But there are perhaps 150 toilets in this list, so it’s a start…