UK Government Commits to More Open Data

A couple of weeks back UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced the broadening of the publicly available government data with the publishing of key data on the National Health Service, schools, criminal courts and transport. The background to the announcement was a celebration of the preceding year of activity in the areas of transparency and open data, with many core government data sets being published. Too many to list here, but the 7,200+ listed on gives you an insight.  The political guide to this is undeniable, as Mr Cameron makes clear in his YouTube speech for the announcement “Information

Are We Getting A Right to Data?

Friday night – nothing on the TV – I know! I’ll browse through the Protection of Freedoms Bill, currently passing through the UK Parliament. Sad I know, but interesting. Lets scroll back in time a bit to November 19th 2010 and a government press conference introduced by a video from Prime Minister David Cameron.  The headline story was about the publishing of government spending and contract data, but towards the end of this 109 second short he said the following: … the most exciting is a new right to data. Which will let people request streams of government information and

Linked Spending Data – How and Why Bother Pt3

As often is the way, events have conspired to prevent me from producing this third and final part in this How & Why of Local Government Spending Data as soon as I wanted.  So my apologies to those eagerly awaiting this latest. To quickly recap, in Part 1 I addressed issues around why pick on spending data as a start point for Linked Data in Local Government, and indeed why go for Linked Data at all.  In Part 2, I used some of the excellent work that Stuart Harrison at Lichfield District Council has done in this area, as examples

Linked Spending Data – How and Why Bother Pt2

I started the previous post in this mini-series with an assumption – ..working on the assumption that publishing this [local government spending] data is a good thing. That post attracted several comments, fortunately none challenging the assumption.   So learning from that experience I am going to start with another assumption in this post.  Publishing Local Authority data, such as local spending data, as ‘Linked Data’ is also a good thing.  Those new to this mini-series, check back to the previous post for my reasoning behind the assertion. In this post I am going to be concentrating more on the How

A New Revolution

A colleague sharing their experience of visiting Ironbridge, promoted as “The Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution” helped clarify some thoughts I have been brewing to help convey where the current Linked Data enthusiasms and initiatives may lead us. The famous Iron Bridge, opened in 1781, spans the River Severn in Shropshire, England.  To quote the Wikipedia “It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron, a material which was previously far too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost and so encouraged local engineers and

Linked Spending Data – How and Why Bother Pt1

National Government instructing the 300+ UK Local Authorities to publish “New items of local government spending over £500 to be published on a council-by-council basis from January 2011” has had the proponents of both open, and closed, data excited over the last few months.  For this mini series of posts I am working on the assumption that publishing this data is a good thing, because I want to move on and assert that [when publishing] one format/method to make this data available should be Linked Data. This immediately brings me to the Why Bother? bit. This itself breaks in to