Facts about Coventry – some background
Coventry’s Local Information System, ‘Facts about Coventry’ (http://www.facts-about-coventry.com), was set up in November 2010 by the Coventry Partnership. It set out to offer citizens and service providers a single point of reference for information about the public services people use, and background contextual information about the place itself.
Facts about Coventry primarily aims to ensure Service Managers can improve services through better access to better data. However, the system also serves a wider range of users, including local councillors, civil society organisations or members engaged in the Big Society, local businesses, those with an interest in public issues, students with projects, teachers and more. We talked to Tim Healey, Corporate Research Officer for Coventry City Council to find out more about how they are using Data Packs.
Launching Facts about Coventry
Unlike many Local Information Systems, ‘Facts about Coventry’ was not built on an existing system, but was built from scratch. Before the development of this system, the different departments within the authority were used to collecting and presenting their data in different ways from one another, with no integrated system in place. Faced with this problem at the inception of ‘Facts about Coventry’, developers decided the best approach was to buy a system using ‘off the peg’ solutions.
After an extensive review of the range of products available, Instant Atlas Server (http://www.instantatlas.com/iads.xhtml) and OCSI Data Packs (http://www.data-packs.com) stood out as offering the best solutions. Data Packs were selected due to the comprehensive range of public domain data and reporting they made instantly available, and because they were prepared in a way that enabled the user to load them directly into the Coventry system in a format readily processed by Instant Atlas.
Benefits of Data Packs for Coventry
A powerful tool for service managers
Facts about Coventry has proved to be useful to all Partnership data teams and service managers. As Tim explained, it is standard practice in Coventry for service providers to collect and analyse local service information. The contextual information provided by Data Packs is now used to support and strengthen this local data and has enabled service providers to deepen their analysis.
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Watch the latest InstantAtlas Essentials Tutorial #17
How to configure a component to be a pop up window
Video Transcript below
Today I would like to show you, how you can make a component of your dynamic report to be a pop-up window that can be toggled on and off using a button.
To demonstrate this, I will use this example report. This report is as it comes out of the Publisher – nothing has been changed yet.
Now let’s say I would like to make the Time Series Chart a pop-up window. I would maybe want to do this if a component is not primarily important for the report or if I am running out of space to display all components next to each other.
I will open the config.xml file in the InstantAtlas Designer, select the component I would like to make to a pop-up window – in my case the Time Series Chart – and tick the checkbox of the property ‘PopUp Window?’. There is another property called ‘PopUp Window Visible?’ which allows me to define if I want the component visible when I open the report or if it shall be hidden on start-up. I want it to be hidden initially, so I leave this checkbox unticked.
Now I need a button to be able to toggle the component on and off. I will insert a new button via ‘Insert’ – ‘Button’ and give it a label e.g. ‘Time Series’. In the URL field of the ‘Links’ tab I now have to call an ActionScript function. This has to start with “script:” followed by the appropriate function name. The Designer section of the InstantAtlas Desktop User Guide lists all available ActionScript functions but I can also find the name of the function of I select the Time Series Chart again and hold my mouse pointer over one of the two pop-up window properties. The tooltip that appears will tell me the correct ActionScript function, in this case ‘toggleTimeSeries’.
So I go back to the new button und write exactly this function behind the ‘script:’. Please note that the function names are case sensitive.
I can now save my changes and refresh the report in my browser window. Initially I don’t see the time Series chart but when I click on the Time Series button, I can toggle the component on and off.
By the way: The data explorer is by default set up as a pop-up window which is toggled using the ‘Data’ button. If you would prefer to have the Data Explorer as a static component rather than a pop-up window, you can simply delete the ‘Data’ button and untick the ‘PopUp Window?’ property in the Data Explorer Properties.
If you experience any difficulties in setting up your own pop-up windows, or if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.