Masses of UK government data now available online - dive in everyone!

21 January 2010

data

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a miracle man. Not content with inventing the world wide web, he’s now behind the launch of a new UK site, data.gov.uk that makes several metric fucktons of data available for ordinary John Q Citizens like you or him over there to peruse and use.

The aim is to make information acquired by the government easier for people to find and analyse and developers have already used it to build a site that displays the location of schools according to the rating assigned to them by Ofsted.

Other spin-off sites include one that allows you to search through planning applications and another where you can report pot holes in the road to your local hole czar.

In theory, it’s all rather groovy and reeks of transparency and openness – as for how often any of us will use it, that remains to be seen.

As is our wont whenever a new search engine appears, we tested it out earlier by searching for ‘sex’ – with 103 results. Result! Among the results were ‘Deaths related to drug poisoning’ and ‘Sickness absence from work.’ Mmm, roll on lunchtime so we can investigate those results further.

Well done Sir Tim – have another knighthood. Now let’s see if you can get them to bring back Top Of The Pops and candy cigarettes with the red ends.

TOPICS:   Government   UK News   Privacy

4 comments

  • Jase
    Schools thing is VERY off...converted my post code to something similar postcode and therefore 15 miles away. Found my old high school, located on the map about 2 miles from its actual location...a false location better suited to someone selling roadside flowers.
  • Nobby
    I just checked too. The schools website removes the last bit of your postcode, so OK where postcode areas are small but not where they are less populated. Then it places the best school near us in completely the wrong place, as the postcode they have for it is wrong. Data is great, so long as it is accurate. If there are errors in the entry whether due to the school or the data entry officer (or whatever a keyboard monkey is called these days), then it is much less useful.
  • adr0ck
    according to the UK school finder website there are a big fat zero number of schools near me where are the kids going everyday then?
  • Junkyard
    "or the data entry officer (or whatever a keyboard monkey is called these days)" The term you are looking for is "I.T. graduate".

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