New UK government website for public access to official data

The UK government has announced plans to launch a new website www.data.gov.uk , which will allow public access to official data, and has called on web-founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee, to assist.  The website aims to improve transparency and will be similar to the US site 'data.gov', which already includes information from the US defense department and NASA.

The plan, initiated by PM Gordon Brown last year, is to develop a website for the public to find information and to make reports to public service providers, including traffic and crime statistics.  In addition, various applications will be available to enable users to discover details of planning applications (in PlanningAlerts), or report potholes (in FillThatHole).

So far, the site has been in test mode, for developers to try out its features and provide feedback, but once 'live', it is hoped that public users will benefits from having the information and services in one place and see it as an alternative to requesting disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as BBC News reports - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8470797.stm

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