There is generally a lot of support for open data from central government in the UK – particularly from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI), the Cabinet Office and with Gordon Brown’s recent announcement that he is asking Tim Berners-Lee to help open up government data in the UK. We are pleased to see that OKF Director Rufus Pollock’s call for Raw Data Now, which Sir Tim cited in a talk at TED, has played a prominent part in his advice!
However, open government data does not seem to receive such attention in local government.
Openly Local has made a start on opening up local government data:
To start off, I’ve concentrated on getting the basic information — current councillors, committees, membership of those committees, and minutes for those committee meetings. I started off with a little over a dozen councils (though that’s since increased to over 40 of them).
At the time of writing this includes information on: 61 councils, 3797 councillors, 2065 committees and 11922 committee meetings.
We’d love to hear examples of local government data that is already explicitly open – and suggestions for local government data that you’d like to be made open!
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.