Further developments – Accessibility and usability

Now that we have launched our developers are settling into a more regular release schedule. A lot of the work that they are doing is on the back-end – making things more stable, making it easier to build on, etc. However, we are keen to keep improving the experience you get, so we have been sneaking in some extra items so the site doesn't get stale and responds to your feedback – either on the site, via e-mail or on Twitter. One of the areas we were most concerned with was accessibility and compatibility – we want to offer everyone the same high quality service.

Community Account

An important part of data.gov.uk is us working with you to listen and help you build and show great applications for public data. During the developer preview phase, over 2400 people enrolled in the developer discussion group, and their community membership has already been extended to the public beta data.gov.uk functionality.

We are now opening up that community to new members. Once registered, community members can:

Site Enhancements

Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to give us early feedback and comments on the data.gov.uk public beta site. We've been heartened by the many messages of support, but you have also pointed to where we could make improvements.

Our developers have put in a number of quick improvements which we are releasing today. These include:

Public Launch

Hello and welcome to the public beta of data.gov.uk.

Data.gov.uk acts as an online point of access for government-held non-personal data. This is to enable people like you to take it, re-use it and make interesting things with.

This site has been some months in the making with a developer preview back in September. We made the site available to members of the development community to test it, use it and provide feedback on where we should be headed.

(Almost) 150 new data sets

You may have noticed that today was the launch of a new Government White Paper – Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government. The Digital Engagement blog has the details but it has enabled us to announce some Open Data Principles we have been working on in the team:

Public data will be published in reusable, machine-readable form

Getting started with our data

An important part of the work we are doing is to provide easy access to data, so developers can re-use it in their own applications. Many developers want to download datasets to include in their application. This works well, especially for smaller datasets or those that do not change frequently. However, as part of the data.gov.uk project we are making available large sources of data available.

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.