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Excited about Data

In Data on January 21, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , , , ,

As you may know, data.gov has launched this week in beta mode! Datasets have been tagged and you are also able to browse through the whole lot.  I’ve just watched a talk by Tim Berners-Lee about why he wants, and we ought to demand, ‘raw data now!’ I’ve added it here, because it is really worth a look. His enthusiasm is infectious and I think he is a brilliant communicator with zero ego.

Memorable quotations from the video: “data is brown and boxy” and “data is relationships”. I really liked the mention of ‘scientists with half-formed ideas in their heads’-the suggestion being that having access to data will give them a push forward.

What does this force to make things open say about our role as guardians of little collections of information (trial registers, resource libraries)? I think some people will be threatened and some will hug their data even tighter, but others will get engaged and profit from this.

If the interactive map of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) is anything to go by, I am looking forward to more people getting their data out there to be made useful. I hadn’t realised that Bing had maps!

While the TrendsMap (‘real time local twitter trends’) is not quite government information, it is quite clever.  It connects Twitter data to a Google map giving an overview of what is being said where, and if you click a topic, by whom. When I check just now, ‘olympic’ was hovering prominently over Vancouver-how very appropriate.

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One Response to “Excited about Data”

  1. Struggled a bit with trends map on good ol IE6. Not much sign of a map. Also concerned about @FredDurst – I was kind of hoping never to hear of Fred Durst again. Had a look at London – you can summarise as “currently trending – nothing of any interest at all”.

    If you like this you may be interested in http://rewiredstate.org/ “On Saturday March 7th 2009 Rewired State held “National Hack The Government Day” at the new Guardian offices in Kings Cross.”

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