Two potential changes to the API and CSV downloads
There’s a couple of improvements we’re thinking of making to the Police.uk API and data downloads over next couple of months, but wanted to run these thoughts past the developer community first for any comments, suggestions or other good ideas!
Using Latitude and Longitude in CSV downloads
- At the moment the CSV files we make available on www.police.uk/data use a mixture of coordinates – both OSGB36 and OSNI52 easting-northings.
- We think that switching to the more common WGS84 latitude-longitude format will make the data much easier to work with, and simpler to integrate with systems like OpenStreetmap or the KML shapefiles that we also make available on the site. It also reduces the risk of someone not realising that the CSV files currently use two different datums, and converting the coordinates incorrectly.
*The Police.uk API already uses latitude-longitude throughout, so harmonising the two should also make it simpler for anyone who wants to use the CSV data in conjunction with the API.
If we do make the switch, we will probably have a changeover period of a couple of months where we make both forms of the CSV files available.
Custom location API queries
- Currently you can only extract crime data in the API for a constant radius from a set latitude-longitude, or for a particular neighbourhood policing team.
- This isn’t great, and makes it difficult for people who want crime data based on a different types of location. So we’d like to depreciate the neighbourhood-crimes method and neighbourhood CSV files, and replace them with something much more flexible.
- We’re thinking of adding a way for developers to POST their own shapefiles to the API and get back all the information for crime and outcomes in that shape. It means that you’d easily be able to get accurate crime data for any location you want – for example, a council ward, town boundary, neighbourhood watch area, postcode area, census area with population data, or anything else you can think of!
Again, we may be able to organise a period of parallel running if the community thinks it would be useful.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated : )
Police Company Directorate | Home Office