For contact details and technical skillset please see my hire me page.

Current work in progress: Various API designs, an augmented reality app based on Layar, social media data analysis.


Sutton Bookshare / NESTA Bookshare

Sutton Bookshare screenshot

Sutton Bookshare is a web application to help people lend and borrow books with their friends, neighbours and colleagues. It is promoted and run by Sutton Council and funded by NESTA as part of the Make It Local project.

I did all the web design and software development work for this project.

In the context of public sector cutbacks the Sutton Bookshare project led to a lively debate on the role of local authorities in providing library services.

Sutton Bookshare is open source software and is promoted by NESTA as NESTA Bookshare. People can set up the software to create a bookshare in their own areas. I created a WordPress-style theme system allows designers to customise the look and feel of the site without editing or breaking the main codebase.

The application is written with Ruby on Rails. It uses Google Books API for book data and Gravatar for user icons.

Atom feeds are generated for each user, author and subject as well as a sitewide feed for new books listed by members. This allows integration with other apps e.g. sending messages to Twitter through Twitterfeed.

I’m currently working to produce an API for Sutton Council’s library service and to integrate Sutton Bookshare with the main library catalogue. This will give users the choice of borrowing a book from a neighbour through Bookshare or from the main library service. It will also allow new third-party applications to be developed using the council’s library catalogue data.



For London Borough of Sutton and NESTA. Funded by NESTA.

See also:


Windsor and Maidenhead Armchair Auditor

Armchair Auditor screenshot

Armchair Auditor is an easy way to explore and discuss council spending data.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead was the first UK council to publish their payments to suppliers over £500 and inspired the national policy requiring all councils to publish their payments.

Armchair Auditor turns thousands of rows of spreadsheet data into easy-to-read web pages. It breaks the data down by council service and supplier allowing you to browse it according to your interests.

It also makes the data social. People can discuss the data using comment threads added to every page.

I built this app in Ruby using the Sinatra framework.

I spoke about Armchair Auditor and the idea of residents scrutinising council spending with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4′s PM programme and with Henry Kelly on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Armchair Auditor is open source software. It inspired a similar site — the Isle of Wight Armchair Auditor.

Google Think Quarterly — The Data Issue

Google Think Quarterly - The Data Issue


Google’s Think Quarterly showcases new ideas in technology.

For the launch issue I contributed a data analysis of London’s Barclays Cycle Hire scheme showing the busiest and least busy bike docking stations in London. This was produced as a pop-up map.

I was interviewed for the accompanying feature article about transport data in London, The Mobile Revolution (PDF).

My other work around Barclays Cycle Hire includes a realtime public API for bike/dock availability and this 3D visualisation:

I also built this physical map showing hire bike availability around Covent Garden. The LEDs light when those docking stations have more than five bikes available.

This project uses an internet-connected Arduino pulling data from my own live API. It’s an example of how open data can be used in unconventional contexts. The idea comes from Russell Davies. The electronics, build and software is my own.

Barclays Cycle Hire Arduino map


Sutton Open Maps

Sutton Open Maps screenshot


Sutton Open Maps brings together Sutton Council’s geographical open data onto one easy to use map website.

It’s designed for speed and ease of use especially when viewing on a tablet computer.

The site also converts Sutton’s open data from CSV to other useful formats: JSON, XML and KML for Google Earth.

It’s written in Ruby using the Sinatra framework.