The man responsible for inventing the world wide web has opened a web site today that gives access to government data.
The site, www.data.gov.uk, is intended to open UK government data up to people, and is being advised by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt. The site does not identify people or provide ways to identify people.
It’s been under development for several months and opens today to allow people accessing it to help towards making it better.
The government, the site says, is opening data for other people to re-use, and includes information like a list of schools, crime rates and the performance of councils. It has government sanction.
On the front page are a number of applications including historic house price data from the Land Registry, ways to find your nearest chemist using GPS built into the iPhone, and finding NHS dentists.
The last is not easy, certainly in many parts of the country.
Other ideas proposed include distribution and expenditure of council tax.