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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Berners-Lee Working to Make Gov't Data More Accessible

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, unveiled his latest project: A site dedicated to compiling, presenting, and making it easier to access government data. The site, data.gov.uk, is hoping its content inspires applications and services which utilize the information in novel ways. The Prime Minister appointed Berners-Lee head of the project last year.

Some 10 applications have already been designed utilizing the site, including FillThatHole, which allows citizens to report potholes and other issues with roads and SchoolFinder, which maps the best area schools. "Government data is something we have already spent the money on... and when it is setting there on a disk in somebody's office, it is wasted," Berners-Lee told the BBC.

The Obama administration established data.gov for these same reasons. Both sites hope to make the government more transparent and accessible to its citizens in addition to all else.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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