London lifts lid on data
Huge amounts of data covering London’s citizens and government are to be put online as part of a new initiative by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Johnson has announced that over 200 sets of data, from crime rates to house prices, will be made available for all to see via a new website called “London Datastore.”
Johnson made the announcement with the help of President Obama’s chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, and the chief information officer of NASA, Linda Cureton, via a live web link up from CES in Las Vegas.
“The superb new London “Datastore” will unleash valuable facts and figures that been languishing for far too long in the deepest recesses of City Hall,” says Johnson.
I firmly believe that access to information should not just be the preserve of institutions and a limited elite
“I firmly believe that access to information should not just be the preserve of institutions and a limited elite. Data belongs to the people, particularly that held by the public sector and getting hold of it should not involve a complex routine of jumping through a series of ever decreasing hoops.”
It follows in the steps of a similar US project called “Apps for Democracy,” which opened up a large amount of data to the public back in 2008.
The plans have already gained the support of some big names in the technology industry. “At Google we’ve always believed that greater access to information and public data is good both for democracy and for the economy,” says Matt Brittin, UK managing director for Google.
“There are great opportunities for British businesses to make innovative use of publicly available data in ways that can be useful to consumers and commercially valuable,” he concludes.
The website is set to launch on 29 January and will be free of charge to its users.