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Adrian Dale - Creatifica Associates
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At last the UK Government takes open data seriously

In a surprise announcement on 11th June, the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Sir Tim Berners Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt to head up a team to push the UK public sector forward in the use of the semantic web.    This is a welcome appointment and could overturn the years of neglect since the Cabinet Office disbanded its dedicated team.

Semantic web interest from the big players

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have recently published their spring edition of Technology Forecast The whole issue is devoted to linked data and the semantic web.  Their are some excellent primer articles and interviews with key players in the field. It is well worth a read and a validation of the stance many of us have been taking for years about URIs being the key to unlock the true power of the web.

US Govt Launches

Yesterday the US Government launched (see this posting for a full commentary).  Openness and transparency of federal data is the goal.  Data is being published in a variety of machine readable forms to facilitate innovative re-use of the data by citizens and business.  This is a huge boost for the open linked data movement and will be boosted even more by the apps for America competition being sponsored by Google and O’Reilly and TechWeb to promote creative mash-ups of this information.  So come on OPSI - let’s see go live!

The true power of open-linked data

Tony Hirst has just posted an excellent article demonstrating how open-linked data and mash-up tools can transform the presentation and hence the value of information “Visualising MPs’ Expenses Using Scatter Plots, Charts and Maps”. MP’s expenses are a hot topic in the UK at the moment and a spreadsheet of them was posted by the Guardian. Tony Hirst shows the challenges and successes of using open-source tools to present this data in ways that make it much more usable. When I think of how much the first Executive Information Systems cost in the 1990s! The would make an excellent case for Online Information 2009 – and we will be tapping Tony on the shoulder!