Tim Berners-Lee, the grandfather of the world wide web, has officially unveiled his government project called Data.gov uk, which should see public sector data being made available for private and commercial use. The aim is to kick off development of useful public data mashups.
The internet pioneer, who has been knighted, was hired by Gordon Brown in June 2009 to commence the project. Berners-Lee said: "It's such an untapped resource. Government data is something we have already spent the money on... and when it is sitting there on a disk in somebody's office it is wasted".
Some examples have already been completed. A map that displays the location of schools and their Ofsted rating has been built, along with a service that automatically emails details of planning applications in the local area to anyone who signs up. A 'local' newspaper with statistics about your area has also been created. 2400 developers have registered to test the site since it opened in beta in September.
Currently the holy grail - Ordnance Survey data - isn't yet included, but the government has promised to make it available online this year. It's hoped that it'll come to the service on 1 April. The site is a parallel of the USA's data.gov, though some have compared it rather favourably to the American version.
What government data would you like to see published on the site?
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