UK Government Moves Forward with Data Sharing, APIs, and Mashup Contest

Andres Ferrate, July 4th, 2008

As reported by the BBC, the UK government has established a task force, aptly named the Power of Information Task Force, to lead a massive data sharing effort. The task force was established in March of this year by Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson with the goal of fostering social and economic progress by enabling widespread access to government data.

The task force has set up a blog that provides additional information on its activity, as well as examples and links to related topics (including such information as Australian public data licensing). Be sure to check out the Rate Your Prison site as well as FixMyStreet.com.

FixMyStreet.com

Since its inception, the task force has been busy getting data out to the public as well as promoting examples of how the data can be used for innovative applications. New APIs for Neighborhood Statistics and National Health Services were released recently in addition to wholesale data extracts provided in Zip files.

Earlier this week, the task force announced ShowUsABetterWay.com, a competition public involvement and suggestions for ideas on how to use the newly available government data. The competition has a £20,000 prize fund that will be distributed for the best ideas on how to use the data. Submit an idea online to enter the competition.

This is one of the first government efforts, if not the first, that is solely focused on public data sharing in the hope that citizens and non-government entities will produce a rich set of applications and mashups. It will be interesting to see what the overall impact is of a “crowd-sourced” effort such as this one, and whether any public concerns over data privacy ultimately limit the amount of data that will be shared.

In our API directory there are now 16 UK-related APIs, including new entries for the NHS API, the Office for National Statistics API and the Tell Them What You Think API.

And for more on government-related APIs our Government APIs and Mashup Dashboard and Government API and Mashup Summary, as well as Raymond Yee’s recent post on Should the Feds Focus on Reusable Data or User Interfaces?.

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13 Responses to “UK Government Moves Forward with Data Sharing, APIs, and Mashup Contest”

July 4th, 2008
at 8:30 am
Comment by: Web 2.0 Ireland » Blog Archive » Irish Government - Data Sharing, APIs, and Mashups

[...] John has details on UK Government Moves Forward with Data Sharing, APIs, and Mashup Contest [...]

July 5th, 2008
at 11:31 am
Comment by: links for 2008-07-05 | The Marketing Technology Blog

[...] UK Government Moves Forward with Data Sharing, APIs, and Mashup Contest The Power of Information Task Force has been established in the UK to lead a massive data sharing effort. The task force has the goal of fostering social and economic progress by enabling widespread access to government data. (tags: api politics mashups uk government) [...]

July 5th, 2008
at 1:13 pm
Comment by: darrylxxx

Hi, nice article. The ShowUsABetterWay site is very inspiring and actually great fun to read great ideas. Inspired us to create an interesting mashup of crime statistics for Northern Ireland http://www.banjax.com/sandbox/crime/

July 5th, 2008
at 5:55 pm
Comment by: 政府API | 我blog故我在

[...] 从这里看到的消息, 根据BBC报道,UK政府已经成立了一个称为Power of Information Task Force的组织来引导对政府信息、公开信息的共享,他们还设置了一个基于wordpress的blog。他们今年成立以来已经发布了系列API服务,具体可以去他们blog上了解。基于这些API可以利用政府的公众信息和公开信息来提供创新的mashup服务。 [...]

July 8th, 2008
at 11:49 am
Comment by: Electric JAB » Blog Archive » A New Perspective on “Open Government”

[...] An article posted recently by on PW discusses the UK governments efforts to do just that.  The impact these tools can have on a government and a society is immeasurable. These tools empower citizens to collect, analyze and use information in unique ways that can reshape the economic, political and cultural landscapes of their country. We are only beginning to see the benefits (and the pitfalls) of these types of projects. I’m very anxious to see where all of this leads. [...]

August 12th, 2008
at 2:15 am
Comment by: UK Government Offers New £20,000 Mashup Prize

[...] month reported on how the UK government has established the Power of Information Task Force to lead a massive data sharing effort aimed at fostering social and economic progress by enabling [...]

November 7th, 2008
at 2:08 am
Comment by: Freeing UK Government Data

[...] may remember our previous blog post on ShowUsABetterWay.com, a web site set up by the UK Government’s Power of Information Task [...]

March 4th, 2009
at 4:40 am
Comment by: Realizing Transparency Through Federal Government APIs

[...] helping to stimulate (and bridge) the discussion on open data distribution. As we have reported in prior posts, the UK government seems to be ahead of the curve, with some of its data already available for [...]

October 7th, 2009
at 2:04 am
Comment by: UK Government Reaching Out to Developers. Again.

[...] been over a year since the UK’s Cabinet Office asked coders to show them a better way. The last update to that campaign was in February, but now there’s a new government call for [...]

January 20th, 2010
at 9:12 pm
Comment by: UK Government Launches Open Data Site: data.gov.uk

[...] UK government has been making strides with open data before, such as last year’s launch of the Show Us a Better Way site, which has been fostering some creative ideas, including a number [...]

September 8th, 2010
at 10:55 pm
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October 11th, 2010
at 5:27 am
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February 28th, 2011
at 6:51 pm
Comment by: tablette pc

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