Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"One nation under CCTV"

It was to my great surprise to learn that rules of the census in UK are much more strict than in Russia. In fact, I pretty much expected the opposite.

To start with, one have no right to refuse the participation (and if they do, £1000 fine applies along with a criminal record). Also, the only question which is allowed to skip is about religion (and numerous other ones are mandatory). On the bright side, there is at last an option for atheists ("No religion") while the closest match in similar questionnaires (e.g. in NHS survey) is "None of the stated".

Another difference from the Russian version is that the information needs to be provided not only on people themselves but also on their guests stayed in their house on the particular date (actually, the census results are supposed to be a snapshot of country's life for a certain day catching internal migration details as well).

However, we can't yet fill in our forms. Of course, the whole thing could be done online but still is it necessary to get a personal code first by traditional mail to verify the physical address - and for some reasons our address is not in the list. Just as on many other government and corporate UK sites, it is impossible to enter any address you want - instead, you are given a list of available options upon entering your postcode. This is great for preventing the duplicated and misspelled inputs but when you're not in the database, you're in trouble. Issues like that are usually resolved over the phone, but we haven't managed to get thought the busy helpline yet.

There is a good chance, I suppose, that if the household is not in the database, it is impossible to verify the fact of participation. However, we're still going to act as the law expect us to, though that requirement was, as I already said, a surprise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Landmarks on request

It looks like I've found a place to host the script which generates OVI Maps landmarks for London cycle hire. Before, every free hosting I tried turned out to have some nasty limitations (like advertisement snippets corrupting the output) or blocked the script in time due to its need to access other site page to scrape the data from. But this one looks okay (so far).

So, fingers crossed, no more repeating updates. When you need to update the docking stations locations in your Nokia phone, just follow this link and download a fresh LDB file (further instructions stay the same).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cycle Hire stations coordinates updated

Sorry for delaying the update for the Cycle Hire docking stations coordinates, and thanks to the one of you who has reminded me today about that.

So, the Fusion table was updated (you can get the CSV and KML versions using its menu), and the new LDB landmarks pack to use with Nokia OVI Maps is here as well:

Stations added in this update:
  • Alfred Place, Bloomsbury
  • Butler Place, Westminster
  • Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
  • City Road, Angel
  • Farm Street, Mayfair
  • Frith Street, Soho
  • Harriet Street, Knightsbridge
  • Harrowby Street, Marylebone
  • High Holborn , Covent Garden
  • Howland Street, Fitzrovia
  • Kensington Town Hall, Kensington
  • King Edward Walk, Waterloo
  • Lord's, St. John's Wood
  • Marloes Road, Kensington
  • Millbank Tower, Pimlico
  • Millennium Hotel, Mayfair
  • Moor Street, Soho
  • Northumberland Avenue, Strand
  • Prince Consort Road, Knightsbridge
  • Rathbone Street, Fitzrovia
  • Royal College Street, Camden Town
  • Sardinia Street, Holborn
  • Southampton Street, Strand
  • Stanhope Gate, Mayfair
  • Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair
  • Victoria Embankment, Temple
  • Waterloo Bridge, South Bank
  • Waterloo Station 1, Waterloo
  • Waterloo Station 2, Waterloo
  • Waterloo Station 3, Waterloo
Stations removed:
  • Cheapside, Bank
As I no longer have a Nokia phone to test the OVI Maps coordinates pack, feel free to complain if you face any problems with it.

Update: for an up-to-date version please see the new dynamic solution.