tldr "anyone can, it is free!"
The following is information for application developers or anyone interested in the information stored within Open Plaques. Take a look at the contribute page to see how you could help. A number of apps have been created based on our data. These are listed on the About page.
Please re-use the data in any way you see fit. The data is released under the Public Domain Dedication and License 1.0 and we make no claims of copyright over either the data we've collected ourselves, nor the hundreds of hours of collective value that have been added by our co-curators. That said, we can accept no liability for any issues that may arise over the re-use of this data, and you are advised to make your own assessment. If you do re-use the data we'd love it if you could acknowledge Open Plaques and link back to us - however you are under no obligation to do so.
We currently run datapulls on an ad-hoc basis but are planning to trigger them monthly. Plaque id numbers do not change, but sometimes we might delete a record if it is a duplicate. The fields are fairly stable, but subject to change. You might want to design your app so that you can reload data from the next update.
We deliberately do not store photographs on our site. We connect and add context to existing resources on the web instead of trying to own it. We supply links to images so that you could use them within your own app whilst displaying appropriate attribution.
Some images are licenced as 'non-commercial' and you should consider whether to filter these out.
2009 - Our starting point was a list of London blue plaques donated to us by English Heritage. 2009 - Information was obtained from local authorities via polite Freedom of Information requests (with mixed results). 2009 - These 'official' data sources were cleaned up, parsed and improved through a number of automatic and semi-manual processes. 2009 - Open Plaques site was officially launched after Yahoo! OpenHack London. 2009 - We then started collecting via our Open Plaques Flickr pool and the Blue Plaques Flickr pool. This led on to the discovery of many historical and civic societies throughout the UK that erect plaques. 2012 - As our community of plaque hunters has grown we have begun to locate plaques in countries all over the world. 2013 - we appeared in The Sunday Times 'Home' section 2014 - Aimer Media and Shire Publishing collaborated with us on a data donation from a London Blue Plaque book. 2015 - Used in the UK Ordnance Survey points of interest product
Geodata is obtained either from the position data of Creative Commons licenced images or through research and manual geocoding by our volunteer co-curators. We regard all of our data to be clean of copyright and 100% in the Public Domain. There has been discussion over whether to simply include our data within OpenStreetMap. The jury is still out on this one.
If you have any suggestions on additional sources of data about plaques, or have spotted any mistakes or errors in the data, please get in touch.
We obtain information from localised lists published on the internet (council web sites, civic society pages, etc). We do not copy from other plaque collecting sites. We ask competing sites to accord us the same respect.
The official API is shaping up and you should find JSON, GEOJSON, and CSV representations of many pages if you send the appropriate Accept: headers (or add .json to the URL). Some of the HTML pages contain microformats too. If you're interested in any specific data, or a specific format, please let us know.
The live API has a default limit of 500 records, so that our servers can cope. We recommend that you query a reduced area such as Newcastle district by specifying the top-left and bottom-right corners of a box.
Be gentle with us, don't crawl our entire site, we run all this on a shoestring budget and you might crash our servers. We will run a new datapull for you by request.