I have been reading through OR UK documentation and I have a few questions.
1- The data feed dashboard only has a small number of APIs for specific areas in england. Is there more APIs? Is there any councils areas that are adpoting OR?
2- I browsed shortly through the some of the APIs, the data seems to be a list of public services that can be easily found using any typical search engine. Most of the services do not seem to have the relebvant circumstances attached, so searching for a specific case, does not seem to return any data. What does OR standards offer in this case compared to a search engine with unstructured or semi steuctured data?
3- From what I understood, the OR standard requires having centralised service that consumes from the different publishers APIs and publish through a single interface. Is my understanding correct? and what services are there that offer this?
The Dashboard only shows API feeds that we have been made aware of and that are compliant (or were when we first added them). There will be others of which we have not been notified and there are some that approximate to the Standard but don’t pass validation. However we’re still at an early stage of takeup with some local authorities, their suppliers and other organisations exploring adopting the Standard. Others are not yet aware of it. That’s why the UK Department for Leveling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC - responsible for local government) is running the project “The case and strategy for scaling adoption of Open Referral UK”. You can join our mailing list to be kept informed and watch this forum.
The Standard has the facility to hold a lot of structured information that cannot easily be found by a typical search enigine such as: dates & times, costs (if any), eligibility criteria, languages supported, locations. Most of this information is optional and we see the information being incrementally improved. Where standard data feeds are provided, we can examine how rich the data is and progressively improve it. If the same data feed is used in many contexts it is reviewed and improved by more people.
The Standards supports federated data, but YES one big use case is that of a “centralised” location aggregating multiple feeds (e.g. all the local authorities, community directories and health service directories in a region). Both in the UK and the USA people are working on aggregators. Also a UK government department is looking at combining feeds from local authorities. Again it’s a bit early to see this in action.
Even where data only comes from one API source, it can still be shown through multiple frontend applications filtering the data they need and presenting in a way suitable for their audiences.