☞ Open Data: Fantastic, But Not Enough

In an unusual move for such a significant news item, the UK government announced over the weekend that they were ordering all government departments to embark on a voyage of transparency. There were some very good ideas in the announcement, including a mandate to publish details of all ITC procurements. And there is no doubt that a mandate for open data is a fantastic move. The letter from the Prime Minister was pretty clear:

Given the importance of this agenda, the Deputy Prime Minister and I would be grateful if departments would take immediate action to meet this timetable for data transparency, and to ensure that any data published is made available in an open format so that it can be re-used by third parties. From July 2010, government departments and agencies should ensure that any information published includes the underlying data in an open standardised format.

Read on over on my ComputerWorldUK Blog

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3 Responses

  1. Same theme as Danah Boyd’s “When It Comes to Open Data, Is Transparency Enough?”
    http://gigaom.com/2010/05/28/open-data-transparency-is-not-enough-boyd-says/

    • To a degree, yes, but her outlook is different. I believe that with open source code to make the meaning of the data clear to developers, they will produce compelling applications appropriate to their target audience. danah is more general and perhaps more vague in her conclusion, and I was left without a clear idea what practical action she was actually calling for.

  2. Great. The answer to this is of course to be found in the linked data space. http://linkeddata.org/

    RDF is the only method to get vast amounts of data out quickly and in a structured format.

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