I was sorely tempted to title this "would uk like some data, guv?"
The UK government is picking up the challenges issued in the excellent Power of Information Taskforce report.
Via Andy Powell in my FriendFeed, I find a Guardian article Free our data: UK set to follow successful US data method
Now the UK government has picked up on the idea, and in a post on the Cabinet Office blog Richard Stirling is asking the British public how a UK version of the US site should be implemented. "What characteristics would be most useful to you - feeds (ATOM or RSS) or bulk download by FTP?," he asks. "Should this be an index or a repository? Should this serve particular types of data eg XML, JSON or RDF?"
Although there is a list of dozens of the UK government's published data sources there is no clear pan-governmental approach to making data available. The proposal has been received with pleasure by a number of web developers and would-be data users, although it is not clear how free people would be to use the data commercially.
Richard Stirling is writing in the UK Cabinet Office Digital Engagement blog
At some point I will no longer be saying things like "yes, that's an official gov.uk blog" but... well, it is.
The four themes they list on their about page: open information, open feedback, open conversation, open innovation.
A more extensive extract of what Richard Stirling asks in his posting Information and how to make it useful :
Any solution must support open standards and would ideally be open source, but there are a couple of other questions we are pondering at the moment:
- What characteristics would be most useful to you – feeds (ATOM or RSS) or bulk download by e.g. FTP, etc?
- Should this be an index or a repository?
- Should this serve particular types of data e.g. XML, JSON or RDF?
- What examples should we be looking at (beyond data.gov e.g.http://ideas.welcomebackstage.com/data)?
- Does this need its own domain, or should it sit on an existing supersite (e.g. http://direct.gov.uk)
There is a new Director of Digital Engagement, Andrew Stott, according to his official Twitter feed, @DirDigEng , he was scheduled to start in his position yesterday.
Sometimes I feel like a certain country often considered to be between the UK and the US is missing out on this whole official open data, blogging, twitter thing...
If anyone were to want someone to start blogging officially about government open data in a certain northern neighbour of the US, I am available...