Progress on public access to public data

The Power of Information Task Force, championed by Tom Watson MP, has announced a fantastic new Open Government initiative: a public-data mashup competition!

It’s great that the Government is soliciting new ideas for re-using public information, but what’s even better is that this competition is accompanied by a whole raft of new public APIs, and the release of gigabytes of previously inaccessible data.

The sometimes restrictive licensing terms applied to Crown-copyright materiel are a sore point for advocates of open access to Government information, who argue that since the collection of such data is funded through taxation, charging for using it amounts to double-dipping.

I applaud this new initiative, which represents a positive change in attitude towards public access to public data.

Get your thinking caps on people. What whizzy data mashups would you like to see coming out of