Museum directory v2.0

Posted on July 3, 2007

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In my previous post about the “museum directory” I built at UK Museums on the Web mashup day, I mentioned a museum address CSV file from the 24hr Museum which I planned to put use at a later date.

The original source I had contained *really* dodgy data and only about 380 institutions – I’d done some seriously horrible hacking to get it out of various APIs – but the new feed is derived from the 24hr Museum “Direct Data Entry” (DDE) system. This contains around 3,800 entries and is therefore much more interesting as a dataset.

24hr Museum have asked that I don’t expose the KML file at this time, so what you see is the museum directory as it was in version one but with more, and more accurate, data. Version 2 is pretty much the same code and approach as the original – read about how I did it here.

The new data set still didn’t contain geo references, so I had to re-hack the original postcode script to query the Google AJAX API on a running basis and write the lat/long back to the database. That hurt a bit – nearly 4,000 queries takes a long time, especially when postcodes weren’t found. This slightly manual approach, together with some discrepancies in the CSV I had to deal with by hand led me to add the disclaimer on the page about accuracy – nothing to do with the original data…

Anyway, enough tech rubbish. Go play with version two and let me know any ideas or thoughts you have. I’m already thinking about the next version which is gonna be a whole lot more exciting, functionality-wise…

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