At LinkedGov we’re very pleased to have George Osborne reaffirm the government’s commitment to and backing of open public data. With mentions of hackcamps, public apps and the power of transparency in this morning’s speech by the Chancellor, the Treasury is demonstrating an appreciation for linked government data.
Underscoring the wisdom of crowds approach the Chancellor’s announcement about the recruitment of Beth Noveck to forward this agenda will add renewed focus to LinkedGov’s work. Beth Noveck’s work on public participation and collaboration is both well known and well regarded and we are excited to welcome her to our community.
It’s not yet clear whether Beth will be joining the Treasury, Cabinet Office or No 10 (or another dept) in her work but we look forward to what she’s bringing to the UK.
LinkedGov had its first hack camp last weekend (April 9th and 10th) in Shoreditch, organised with the fantastic help of Geeks of London. ‘Keep Calm and Hack On’ was a roaring success, may thanks to all of you who heeded our call to ‘Enlist for Victory!’
Over the weekend 19 hacks were submitted, and some mighty good hacks they were. Here are the prize winners:
The EU tariff dataset/API and Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice API seem to have been particular favourites to hack with. If you have any requests for public data that we can help facilitate please get in touch!
As the sun rises over London this morning all we’re thinking about is ‘Keep Calm and Hack On,’ the first Hack Day for LinkedGov. And it’s not just us with open data hack camps on our mind. A couple of senior people were good enough to share their thoughts and give support to this weekend. For which we are very grateful.
Francis Maude, Minister for Cabinet Office:
“Our ambition is to make the UK government the most transparent in the world and through this to help stimulate economic growth and build the Big Society. Critical to us in achieving our aims is opening up government data so that users can use it, for example by providing the public with detailed information about crime in their neighbourhoods through the police.uk website. The number of hits to this site now stands at over 410 million since launch. Events like this weekend help us to explore innovative approaches with data and build on the momentum that has already been created behind the government’s transparency agenda.”
Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board.
“We in the Technology Strategy Board have been very pleased to have worked closely with the LinkedGov team, and to have been able to contribute to bringing things to this point. We see great potential value in data that is freely available to developers, as data will be the lifeblood of future digital services and of informed decision-making across all walks of life. But the real value remains to be clearly demonstrated: we need more examples of success. The UK’s world-leading public sector open data movement gives us a head start, and there’s now an unparalleled opportunity for UK’s hackers to prove what such data can do. We’re therefore very excited to see what the HackCamp will come up with.”
Our thanks to Francis and Nick for their vocal support. All the best to everyone at the hack camp today, Keep Calm and Hack On!
We are still buzzing from UK GovCamp, the public sector’s yearly brainstorm on all things digital.
We ran three workshops:
We had a session entitled “Open data – how to”, led by Glyn Wintle, Rufus Pollock and Jeni Tennison. We discussed the issues around releasing data and how to deal with press interest. A number of developers gave their preferences for publishing formats (anything but PDF, please!), and the group explored ways we should be connecting the data users and the publishers on an ongoing basis.
We had an “Intro to LinkedGov” session in the morning, led by Hadley Beeman, which produced a lot of useful feedback on what we’re doing. The most useful tidbit was that there is a hole for people needing to talk about publishing government data; it would be useful for LinkedGov to help host those conversations.
The discussion centred around the idea that stories help bring data alive, and the breadth of public data means that some part of it should be relevant to almost everyone.
We gathered a great amount of feedback and energy to help with building our community. The biggest challenge we face right now, getting all of this ready for mass input, was made a bit easier by how eager everyone is and timely it all seems to be.