Data.gov.uk Gets It

And who wouldn’t — get it, that is — with Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and AI prof Nigel Shadbolt advising? Data.gov.uk is HMGovernment’s open access data site, containing three thousand data sets. The public is invited to take the data, manipulate and mix it how they please, and let data.gov.uk know if they develop an interesting application as a result.

As they say on the front page:

We’re very aware that there are more people like you outside of government who have the skills and abilities to make wonderful things out of public data. These are our first steps in building a collaborative relationship with you.

At the moment the site is overwhelmed with visitors and (shades of Europeana) doesn’t seem able to handle the flood. So I’m not able to explore the site as easily as I’d like. But I’ll be back, and I suggest you, too, persevere, because, if, as ReadWriteWeb opines, even the U.S. government open access data initiative data.gov has whole lot to learn from the Brits, our government desperately needs to see how those who “get it” are engaging their citizens; and our informed readers need to do what they can to cause it to get it, too.

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