NEWS21 January 2010

UK government opens up online data hub,

Government UK

UK— The UK government has thrown open an online data hub to members of the public, promising easy access to government-held information that can be downloaded and re-used as people and businesses see fit.

The site,, was developed in partnership with Tim Berners-Lee (pictured), the inventor of the world wide web. Almost 3,000 datasets are available through the site, and users are encouraged to either work by themselves or to collaborate with others on coming up with new applications for the data.

In a manifesto published on The Guardian website, Berners-Lee and project partner Nigel Shadbolt said: “It’s re-use of data in new – and often unexpected – ways that creates both social value and opportunities for economic growth. It’s not our job to say where data might be useful; it’s our job to unleash it and allow businesses and independent developers to build innovative services which they can then deliver to users.”

For social researchers – and researchers in general – the site promises to be a useful resource. Data available includes crime, education, health, transport and environment stats.