[Open-Legislation] Introduction

John Levin john at anterotesis.com
Mon Feb 14 10:40:55 UTC 2011

On 28/01/2011 00:31, stef wrote:
> hey!
> On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 04:24:40PM +0000, John Levin wrote:
>> Just to introduce myself to the list: I'm a history&  digital
>> humanities graduate in London. My particular interest in legislation
>> is historical: getting old(er) laws freely available online then
>> data-mining and visualizing them.
> great to have you here! maybe you can help us out, with how are laws archived
> and how can you datamine them effectively? i'm sure you don't have nice markup
> docs... so how do you do it?
> cheers,s

The main problem with the materials I'm using - English laws from circa 
1660 to 1830 - is that they have not been satisfactorily digitized. 
Google has scanned in various volumes of Statutes at Large, much of 
which is in a c18th typeface and beyond the abilities of OCR.

The (UK) National Archives have a very partial dataset for legislation 
before 1988, and a complete set after that date (though I'm not sure how 
quickly new legislation is put up).

As far as I know, there isn't a mark-up standard for legislation. There 
are some tantalizing references to Crown XML on archived UK govt pages:
But I can't find any current pages with details.

The US gov appears to be developing some schemas:

The obstacles to what I want to do are quite large, so at the moment I'm 
thinking and researching, rather than actually doing. It's all rather 
frustrating, TBH.


John Levin
johnlevin at joindiaspora.com

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