UPDATE 17th May 2010: The unfortunate delay to the update that includes the new Members of Parliament has been caused by the open source project behind the data not having fully updated their sources yet. Although we have new constituency data from Ordnance Survey, and the MP names, the majority and swing details have not yet been published in a usable form. We are looking into alternative data sources that we can easily publish and when the new data is available, we’ll publish the update to the Apple Store.
Our latest app is designed to make finding your MP faster than ever before – no more entering postcodes, just fire up the app and it will locate you with GPS and using data from the recently released Ordnance Survey Open Data, automagically determine your constituency and MP.
You can also determine the constituency and MP for any location in Great Britain with a single tap.
The application in action – automatically locating your constituency and MP. This was a massive data wrangling job, the original Ordnance Survey data for the constituency boundaries is 879MB – yes you did read that right, nearly 1GB in size. We processed that into something more manageable without losing any resolution and then matched it to the public domain data from the UK parliament kindly provided by the people behind The Straight Choice. Next we developed a highly optimised mod_perl service that can be interrogated by your phone to instantly (well, quickly!) determine the constituency and MP for any latitude and longitude in the UK.
The beautiful map clusters – we’re particularly please with those! Instead of drawing map pins, we draw a pie chart showing the proportion of the different political parties. All of this is generated dynamically on the fly from the built in data set and has been specially optimised to run quickly on the iPhone when handling hundreds of map points. As you zoom in and out, the clusters change accordingly.
It’s useful now … and should be even more handy after the election when the MPs change and we roll out an update.
Mindsizzlers specialises in the rapid development of iPhone and iPad applications. From start to finish, the MP Finder took us 6 days, that’s less than a week from sketching the idea out on paper, to submitting a tested binary to Apple. If you have content that you would like to bring to this innovative platform, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing Roger or Stuart [at] mindsizzlers.com