Open Plaques

Who can use the data and how?

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.

Re-use


You are more than welcome to re-use the data in any way you see fit. We are concentrating on building the core datastore and co-curation platform and encourage people to have fun with the data to build interesting applications.

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.

History


2009 - Our starting point was a London blue plaques list 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 - Aimer Media collaborated with us on a data donation from a London Blue Plaque book.
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

Geocoding


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.

New data sources


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.

Photos


All the images are from Creative Commons Licenced sources and as such we attribute them to the copyright holder.

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 via the API meaning that you could use them within you own app whilst displaying appropriate attribution.

API calls

The official API is shaping up and you should find XML, JSON, and KML representations of many pages if you send the appropriate Accept: headers (or add .xml 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.

We will run a new datapull for you by request.

Here is a London and Greater London KML dump from 2 February 2014

Here is a London and Greater London XML dump from 29 December 2013, roughly within M25

You could use a full 20.2Mb XML data dump from 19 January 2013 and ask for updates using a ?since= query.