Sneak-peek site open

This site is aimed at helping developers, entrepreneurs and others find and use public sector information. It will grow into a single online point of access for government-held public data, where we help you locate the data you need, share ideas about what to do with it, and show others the great visualisations and applications you’ve made.

The Show Us A Better Way competition showed us just how many people are interested in using the public sector data that we in the UK Government hold.

The Prime Minister announced on 10 June in his Constitutional Renewal statement to the House of Commons that:

"given the vital role transparency has played in sweeping aside the discredited system of allowances, and holding power to account, I believe we should do more to spread the culture and practice of freedom of information. … So that Government information is accessible and useful for the widest possible group of people, I have asked Sir Tim Berners-Lee who led the creation of the World Wide Web, to help us drive the opening up of access to Government data in the web over the coming months".

Since then, we have been working with Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt to work out how best to make non-personal public data as widely available as possible as quickly as possible.

For the moment, this site is a very early developer preview. It's still a work-in-progress, and there is a lot still to do. So it's invite-only to open data developers who want to work with us to develop the service further and to make sure that it gives you what you want.

We hope you find what we’ve done so far helpful, and we’d love your feedback. What features or changes would make the site better for you? What data sources would you like us to ask data owners in government about? What advice would help? What tools should we work on? Though this site is built by us, it’s for you; please give us feedback to help make it better for you and others in the future.

Nevertheless the data here is real data, which you can use right now. So once you’ve done something great, we're happy for you to spread the word about it – here, with your friends in other venues, in your blog and on Twitter (please use the #opendata tag so we can follow your work).

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  1. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Please may we have an explanation of the license terms for data, maybe linked to where the license is specified.

  2. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Really nice work -- hits the right boxes and looks lovely, to boot.

    One thing: I think it's pretty important to be able to browse data sets as well as search them. Is that doable?

    Is the site mirroring CKAN or has it imported the stuff from CKAN as an initial set of packages? If we submit data, where does it go?

    Interesting to see SPARQL endpoints for some data too -- which sets have that? Is the plan to provide that for all datasets over time? Is there some conversion going on? How will data be kept up to date as it changes?

    I seem to be full of questions! This is a great leap forward -- congrats to all involved.

  3. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Just wanted to say thanks, I'm finding this Beta very useful.

    With this vital initiative and Digital Britain, the government has ensured that the UK will continue to lead the way in the digital revolution.

    Keep up the good work!

    Tim Acheson