What’s the deal with place names?
We knew very early on that Alpha.gov.uk was going to work best if it had a sense of where in the country (or world) its visitors are coming from. Knowing that means it can provide you with information on where your nearest police station is, or default to your nation’s Bank Holidays or direct you to your local council if they’re the ones who provide the service you’re looking for.
Geonames service and showing that. We know it’s crude, but it quickly gets us to a working prototype. Which is what we’re here for.
There’s work under way already to refine that approach. As I write this two of the team are experimenting with some changes, which may even be live by the time you read this. But it’s going to be an ongoing process. We’ve talked about feedback tools that would allow us to build and refine our own database of what people call the area around a postcode, learning from the way people tag photos on sites like flickr, or a few other approaches. Those aren’t considerations for this alpha.
We’d love your feedback and ideas on this (and everything else). Let us know what you think.