Hello and welcome to the public beta of data.gov.uk.
Data.gov.uk acts as an online point of access for government-held non-personal data. This is to enable people like you to take it, re-use it and make interesting things with.
This site has been some months in the making with a developer preview back in September. We made the site available to members of the development community to test it, use it and provide feedback on where we should be headed.
For those of you new to the project here is a quick summary of key features on the site:
- Searching / Browsing datasets - allows you to quickly access data in areas of interest to you. Try browsing by subject tags, or searching for terms like ‘education’ ‘traffic’ ‘crime’. Individual results then provide you with links which will take you to the data.
- Forum get involved in a conversation about the data and project through the forum. You’ll need to register to contribute, but anyone can have a look.
- Wiki - - Here you can work together to share techniques, ideas, problems and tools. As with the forum anyone can view the wiki, but you will need to login to create new content.
- SPARQL – the more technical of you will want to run you own queries against the data stores available; this is the place to start. There some advice about using SPARQL at http://www.data.gov.uk/blog/using-sparql-our-education-datasets
- Ideas – got a great idea for how some of the data could be mashed up and presented? This is the place to go and submit your idea, with the hope that someone out there will pick it up and develop it. Ideas already submitted include using data that exists from the Environment Agency to map high flood risk areas.
- Applications - here you will find applications that others have already created and submitted. You can view, comment on and rate all published applications as well as upload your own.
Thanks to the advice and feedback that our previewers have given us, there are a number of new features on the site which we have been working on and improving over the last few months. These include:
- Datasets – we have both increased the number of datasets available on the site and made the information about each dataset more extensive.
- Browsing - you can now browse datasets by listing all our data as well as common subject tags.
- Wiki – The site has now integrated a wiki which enables the sharing of community knowledge. Every dataset now links to a wiki page which includes some example headings where we hope information about using the data with sample queries and example source code can be shared.li>
- Forum – The site now has a forum which allows registered users to discuss aspects of the project in more depth.
As a beta release we know that there is a still lot to do and that this is very much a work in progress. We do hope, however, that the site starts to deliver the functionality and data that you would like to see. We’ll be working hard to make further improvements. Please do use the forum and other community functionality to let us know what you think - including anything that you think that we have missed out – to help shape the next version.
Please do spread the word about the project – here, with your friends, in your blog and on Twitter (please use the #opendata tag so we can follow your work).