For an overview of live text please go here. And for an old dadams.co.uk look at live text and widgets, travel back in time to early 2008.

The most common use of live text recognising a post code is plotting the place on a Google Map… but you can also see the local weather forecast (for what it’s worth), find the nearest NCP car park or BT Openzone hot-spot, find a hotel, get local government information, and sometimes find the nearest Starbucks (I say “sometimes” because their store locator is a bit unreliable).

Following the introduction of the new crime and policing information web site (for England and Wales), you can now click on a post code in Lotus Notes and find out how likely it is that you’ll get mugged or assaulted during your visit. All you need is this widget and, if you haven’t done it already, to turn on live text and the My Widgets panel, like so…

  • Go to File, Preferences… Widgets, and click the option for ‘Show Widget Toolbar and the My Widgets Sidebar panel’.
  • Then go to the preference for Live Text and click on the option for ‘Enable Live Text by default for all supported content’.

Then drag the widget into the My Widgets panel, find an e-mail or calendar appointment containing a post code, and you’re ready to go. If you’re travelling to IBM Hursley, you should be pretty safe. IBM South Bank…? Let’s be careful out there.

So, of course, the first thing you do is look at your area. Our road is not exactly crime-central (one burglary) but the centre of Camberley is apparently a hot-bed of anti-social behaviour and ‘other crime’ (shoplifting in Poundland maybe). Oddly, the peak spot corresponds with the location of a number of bars and pubs and the one night-club on Camberley High Street. And the other peak spot is one of Camberley’s less salubrious residential locations.

I just received an e-mail from a colleague who’s currently in Basingstoke, and he’s now too scared to leave the building. Personally, I’d be more worried if I was in Bristol.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Gregg Eldred Reply

    Apparently, that site got 18 million visitors in the first day. While I applaud the information provided, I wonder if there will be unintended consequences from it? Like shops that experience drops in sales/foot traffic, more people trying to move out, a rise in services needed (police, fire, mental health, etc.).

  2. Darren Reply

    Hi Gregg… I don’t think the best and worst places will come as a surprise to anyone. Take my home town of Camberley as an example. By day a medium-sized town with a high street and a mall, a fairly busy and respectable retail area where the worst you would expect during the day is the odd shop-lifter and the police moving on groups of bored teenagers smoking and swearing, but not really causing any trouble.

    After dark the bars and pubs open, and they attract young people intent on downing as much booze as possible before closing time. And then those people probably hit the night-club. That 115 you see above was, I’d guess, 99.7% related to the night-time trade. On the other side of the mall is a much more family-oriented area with restaurants, a bowling alley and a cinema. Two different sides to the town at night, and I would think most people are aware of it.

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