[euopendata] [Open-Legislation] WhosYourMEP as OpenData?
james at opennorth.ca
Mon Mar 5 17:31:41 GMT 2012
Sorry for cross-post.
Postcodes are problematic for several reasons.
1. They change constantly. Every week they change, new ones are created, old ones are retired. Crowdsourcing postal codes is not a good idea because the data becomes stale very fast, and because there are millions of postal codes (in my Canadian context, there are 1 million postcodes just for our 30 million population).
2. People in rural areas often pick up their mail in a nearby town, which may be in a different electoral district than their home address. Their home may not even have a postcode, since mail isn't delivered there. They only know the postcode for the mailbox in the nearby town (which is not where they vote). 56% of the EU lives in rural areas, so this is an important issue: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm
3. As mentioned, postal codes can cross electoral boundaries. The post office doesn't care how representatives are elected and don't respect electoral boundaries. They draw postal routes to optimize mail delivery.
As Michal suggested, addresses are the way to go if you want to be accurate (which I think you do). Just geolocate the address and find out which electoral district contains that point.
On 2012-03-04, at 6:08 PM, M.Skop KohoVolit.eu wrote:
> it is easy in the Czech Rep. and Slovakia - single constituency in each country.
> But we have encountered problem with postcodes, which led us to leave the idea using postcodes - for Czech Parliament or Prague city council (which may be the same problem in some of those 5 countries, which do have constituencies in EP): one postcode can belong to more constituencies (e.g., up to 4 in the parliament).
> But this problem led us to do better than we thought: We (or our users) can use any address-like input (not just postcode) and we let Google do the magic.
> On 2012-03-04 23:47, Benjamin Ooghe-Tabanou wrote:
>> Dear everyone,
>> Jérémie from the Internet freedoms advocacy group LaQuadrature.net
>> asked us recently whether it was possible to know precisely from one's
>> postcode anywhere in the EU who their representatives at the European
>> parliament is or are.
>> Having this kind of information could provide a great improval for
>> advocacy tools such as LaQuadrature's freshly created piPhone :
>> For example in France, official data lacks quality, but precise postal
>> codes correlated with elective boundaries could be recreated since the
>> European boundaries only assemble smaller subdivisions :
>> But I understand every country has its own elective systems for its
>> MEPs, sometimes by zone, sometimes not, sometimes proportionnal,
>> sometimes nominal, sometimes by language spoken. Also postal codes may
>> not be existing as databases everywhere. Some countries also seem to
>> have only one geographical zones which makes it a lot simplier :
>> So the questions are :
>> - Do we have people from every EU country on all these mailing-lists ?
>> - Do we have for all members of the european parliament an
>> electoral_zone_id that could be used commonly to identify one MEP
>> through the different european parliament data scrapers (this is a
>> call to parltrack mepwatch votewatch itsyourparliament and so on! ;) )
>> - If so, can we provide for each 27 countries a csv with
>> country;electoral_zone_id;postal_code(or list of postal_codes)
>> - Anybody interested in opening a simple platform to collect those
>> and crowdsource the missing info if there is any ?
>> As a start here's a pad with all EU circonscriptions listed by country
>> so that we can identify in which countries we already have all the
>> needed info :
>> Also another approach could be, considering the size of the considered
>> boundaries, to just use coordinates within a big svg to cocreate that
>> would assemble all European circonscriptions/districts.
>> In any case, it sounds like a democratic challenge we could accomplish
>> altogether :)
>> Benjamin for Regards Citoyens
>> open-legislation mailing list
>> open-legislation at lists.okfn.org
> Mgr. Michal Škop, Ph.D.
> michal.skop at kohovolit.eu
> +420 775 187 021 / +420 721 484 915
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