Today, the UK govenrment made a major announcement regarding Open Data and released a revamped Data.Gov.UK — its flagship open data site.

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Open Data White Paper

The Cabinet Office is ushering in a new wave of open data releases with the publication of a new Open Data White Paper.

The White Paper gestures at a world in which there is “presumption to publish” within government, and in which common standards and formats for publishing data online are adhered to. It also includes a commitment on the part of government fo provide public sector data for free “wherever appropriate and possible”.

The document, written by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, highlights the benfits of open data for society at large such as greater transparency and improved public services. The White Paper also explores the way in which open data can unlock economic potential by stimulating the creation of new tools and services.

The data to be released under the new plans will add to the 9,000 datasets already available
via, a data portal powered by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s open-source software CKAN.

The plans set out in the White Paper also include details of the way in which government will safeguard private information and data. Privacy experts will be consulted during every planned open data release to make sure that the value of open data is realised without compromising on indviduals’ rights to privacy.

The Open Data White Paper can be downloaded here

New Data.Gov.UK – new CKAN

In tandem with the release of the White Paper the UK Government’s flagship site Data.Gov.UK has seen a major overhaul. As part of this its data section is now being powered directly by the latest version of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s open-source CKAN data portal software.

This brings new features and and UI upgrade to the site. Here’s an overview.

Data Home Page

Data.Gov.UK data home page

Data Search

View Dataset Information – Contract Spending

Data.Gov.UK dataset information page

View Dataset Data

Data.Gov.UK contract spending data page

Find out more

Read more on the CKAN blog here or on Data.Gov.UK here and here.

The Code

All the code for the CKAN part of Data.Gov.UK is open-source and available on github:

Some of the other extensions used:

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Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.