Monitoring your MP’s activity… on Google Maps?!

A few days ago I went on a tour of the Houses of Parliament (a present from my wife – I didn’t realise that you couldn’t just walk in off the street – you need to approach your MP to sponsor you!). One point that particularly interested me was when our tour guide mentioned several ways in which the activity of parliament has become more transparent through the use of technology, including live televised debates, streamed webcasts, and online public voting records etc.

Here in the UK, the TheyWorkForYou website has been massively influential in publishing a wide range of easily-accessible statistics on the parliamentary activities of all UK MPs, Lords, and Northern Ireland MLAs. You can browse the site to see which debates a member of parliament has turned up to, how they voted, the transcript of any speeches they made, and much more.

Here’s an extract of the voting record for my local MP, Simon Wright, for example:


As a keen supporter of active democracy, I’m all for holding MPs accountable (and, if you’re reading this in the UK, I strongly recommend you visit and check up on whether your MP is really representing your views). However, even I was a little surprised to see some of the detailed monitoring that now appears to be in place: not satisfied with merely overseeing their political activities, it appears that MPs Tessa Jowell, James Gray, Simon Hughes, and Andrew Miller have been fitted with GPS-tracking devices so you can actually monitor their exact movements. At least, that’s what Google Maps seems to suggest when you zoom in on the Palace of Westminster 😉


I suggest Google might want to do a little cleansing of their POI data there… someone’s even submitted a “review” for Tessa Jowell!

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4 Responses to Monitoring your MP’s activity… on Google Maps?!

  1. Jean-Philippe says:

    Do you know the read/write keys for the Xperia SmartTags. (In fact, it is Mifare tags).

  2. Bryon says:

    I have been following some of your posts over the last six months and have found your attitude when helping others to be very insightful as well as ‘friendly’. I’m managing a spatial project here in the U.S. that is just about finished up but would like to see the project ‘a little more detailed’ in how points are getting assigned to specific polygons as well as line-segment point extrapolation for the most accurate point assignment. I see that you’re a ‘freelance’ developer and was wondering how does one go about contacting you to discuss possible compensation in return for a couple of coding functions ‘designed and written from your point of view’ that would provide me with the detail that I’m looking for.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • alastaira says:

      Bryon – Hi there. I’m not currently taking on any new work at the moment, I’m afraid (moving house, expecting another child, and lots of other projects!) – so I’m sorry I can’t help 😦

      • Bryon Dolan says:

        Thanks for your reply. I’ll continue to follow your posts and wish you the very best. Bryon


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