GoogleTranslate Service


What is happening with open data?

October 10th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

One of the better actions undertaken in the later days of the last UK Labour government was to embrace the open data movement. Following a campaign lead by Nigel Shadbolt and Tim Berners Lee and backed by the Guardian newspaper under the slogan (if I remember right) of  ‘Free our Data’, the governement agreed in pronciple that much of governement funded data should be placed in teh public domain and be freely reusable. The campain was sparked by plans to chanrge large fees for  access to mapping data produced by the publicly owned and funded Ordnance Survey agency.

A new website – data.gov.uk –  was set up as an access point for data and to allow developers to post links to tools and apps.

When Labour lost power to the new right wing Conservative- Liberal Democrat Coalition, many feared for the future of the initiative. Yet somewhat surprisingly the new Government embraced the Open Data movement, putting pressure on local governmental bodies to allow free access to their data. Partly this may have been due to a libertarian approach to more open government. However more important may have been research suggesting that there could be a major new market for private enterprises producing apps based on open data.

However such a vision seems to have been misplaced. A cursory examination of the apps page on the data.gov.uk web site suggests a steady stream of new apps. However many of these are of a relatively limited appeal or have mainly a research use. I selected an app at random from the app site and came up with ‘Accident Blackspots in England’ which provides a series of embeddable maps plotting accident rates per thousand registered vehicles in England using 2010 data from The Department of Transport.  I am sure this will be of use to planning specialists but is hardly the kind of thing people are going to pay for on an app store. There are also quite a few apps providing access to the league tables of pubic sector performance so beloved  previous labour gvernement – e.g school league tables. Once more probably not the most marketable of products.

The one category in which there has been some modest take off is in transport apps. However even here these are very much focused on the heavily poulated urban cities with little of use for more rural areas.

So what has gone wrong – if indeed anything has? Whilst it is very welcome that such data is being openly released and this is a boon for research, the truth is that only a very limited subset of data is going to be of general interest. And even within this subset, the differences in the way data is formatted and presented and the uncertainty of in what form future such data will be released, means that working with such open data is not simple – especially if developers wish to link different data sets. I doubt that a major market will emerge based on open public data. I believe that open data will fuel research and public service development. However apps providing access to services will continue to require public support, if only to clean and standardise data and provide a more advanced data service to app developers, rather than just access to raw data.

 

Comments are closed.

  • Search Pontydysgu.org

    Social Media




    News Bites

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers


    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    Erasmus+

    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.


    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      pbwiki
      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • RT @socialtheoryapp Just published: Taking education to account? The limits of law in institutional and professional practice tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1…

    About 11 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter for Android

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories