BBC Backstage to be geo friendly

The BBC launched a website today called BBC Backstage which encourages people to find novel ways of reusing the content and services that are paid for using the licence fee that we all have to pay (although I don't because I don't have a television with me this year).

Among the latest prototypes which have been submitted by developers are better integration of the BBC News site with Wikipedia, tagging of stories using del.icio.us and an improved search for archived recordings of the Today programme. The data to do these things with is all provided in XML format, though some of the applications simply 'scrape' the site and make their own alterations where they want to. Something which would have been frowned upon until lately is now actively being encouraged in order to nurture creativity and innovation.

One of the most intriguing parts of this scheme is the plan to create a Postcoder API - a programming interface to postcode data held by the BBC. They haven't published the exact details of it but I suspect it will allow people to enter a postcode and have all relevant stories returned to the user. I doubt they will be able to return the actual co-ordinates of postcodes as that would undercut commercial services already in place and would almost certainly break any contract they have with the Royal Mail to supply the data.

A quick Google search on posctcode APIs from the BBC has just brought up a suggestion of this postcoding ability from October last year. Place name data from the BBC gazeteer data would be nice.

(via Boing Boing)