Webometric Thoughts

July 6, 2008

UK Public Data APIs: It’s only the start…

Filed under: API,Government — admin @ 2:05 pm

Last year a report for the Cabinet Office concluded that the government should make more of its data publicly available, this was followed last month by Gordon Brown announcing that online maps with crimes plotted on them will be made available, now we are beginning to see some of the public data finally being made available.

Already there seems to be an embarrassment of riches: a neighbourhood statistics API from the Office of National Statistics; Transport information from Transport Direct; Health care services and information from the NHS…and the list just keeps going on. Despite messing about with APIs for a number of years, the quantity of data available means that I have no idea where to start. The good news is that the Power are offering up to £20,000 to develop any ideas that you may have.

Whilst I have not had a chance to play about with any of the data yet, I do have one criticism: The use of a .co.uk domain name (i.e., www.showusabetterway.co.uk). As the Power of Information Task Force has a government email address (i.e., poi@cabinet-office.gov.uk), why didn’t they use a government domain name? Such domain names are restricted, and therefore provide a indication of legitimacy.

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