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UK to follow successful US data method

UK to follow successful US data method

The UK government is preparing its own version of the US's data.gov site. This platformn allows anyone to download datasets generated by the government in various formats.

The proposal has been received with pleasure by a number of web developers and would-be data users, although it is not clear how free people would be in the UK to use the data commercially.

"The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high-value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government," the US site explains, adding that a primary goal is "to improve access to Federal data and expand creative use of those data beyond the walls of government by encouraging innovative ideas".

Now the UK government has picked up on the idea, and in a post on the Cabinet Office blog Richard Stirling is asking the British public how a UK version of the US site should be implemented. "What characteristics would be most useful to you - feeds (ATOM or RSS) or bulk download by FTP?," he asks. "Should this be an index or a repository? Should this serve particular types of data eg XML, JSON or RDF?"

The site was unveiled to America mid-May and it is intended to give US citizens direct access to non-personal information collected by taxpayer-funded agencies.

US citizens and organisations are automatically given rights to reuse the data as they wish - including commercially for profit.

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