Who Let The Public In?

This site was a fairly useful list of links to data for us developers. Forget the marketing hype coming from TimBL, this site is after all nothing new, it just enables us to search(badly) other sites that have government data(majority not accessible or in a format thats useable).
But now the general public know about it, this site is already getting Apps and Ideas that are nothing to do with government data.
Anyone else thing we should make a clear seperation between developers that can actually do something with the data andthe general public who only want to snipe at government.


Developer snobbery

This is public data, and a site paid for by public money. The public have every right to access it and to be exposed to the processes involved in developing new uses for data. If you want to form a developer-only clique, develop your own site.

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What's wrong with people

What's wrong with people creating apps, or sniping at the government for that matter. The public pay for it, so why shouldn't they have access to it?

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Your assumption that the general public will use this site only to snipe at the government is incorrect; and I find it total arrogance to claim that only developers such as yourself should have access to it or can make the best use of it. Transparency and the widest availability of information is fundamental to democracy and the emergence of novel ideas and solutions.

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As far as I can see this site is a fairly good list of links to data that comes in completely useless formats.

There really does not need to be separation. If an idea comes up enough then hopefully the relevant data will be made available and developers will know there is a demand for such an app. What should probably be pushed for is an open standard format that this data is to be released in. Pipe separated format would probably be fine for most of the data asked for.

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Standard structures

The LDS Gedcomm format is an interesting study of a mutable data structure anticipations XLS. There are, I think, a relatively limited number of baseline common structures - entity, geographic, time, security and confidence data - which can be mapped to all applications. Rather than rewrite the base data, this site should remap other formats into an agreed baseline standard, and add extraneous information in the raw.

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I find your comments unhelpful. As a member of 'Joe Public' I want to use this site to extract data to make my own judgements rather than have those judgements imposed upon me by others who may profess to be professionals. I do not wish to'snipe at government' but simply make my own mind up based on my understanding and interpretation of the data.

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Great. We finally get to the

Great. We finally get to the point where our secretive 'public servants' have been persuaded to let us look at this staff, and immediately people start demanding that we restrict access.

By the way, who decides which of us is privileged, and which not? You, I suppose

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Yes your comment was perhaps

Yes your comment was perhaps unintentionally inflammatory and should have been previewed before you posted, but it is interesting that this discussion seems more "lively" than most on the site and yet it has little to do with data.

Perhaps there should be a Sub-forum category for the politics and democracy of data. That would enable everyone to have their say and have an area where people can talk about inflammatory issues in an appropriate context/ discussion/ topic?

Openness of data is only one flagstone of Transformational government, another important one would be transparency or opening up the processes by which we do things. I think that by enabling people to voice opinions we are not only able to show people the information we collect (and what can be done with it) but we can also find out what people think we should be collecting/ doing!

Ps. Can we view the rejected ideas somehow? Even if they are poor they might provoke some interesting ideas more on topic?

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Security awareness

One trusts you've all been briefed on security sensitivity?

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rejected ideas

Hi - we try to approve as many ideas as possible. Assuming they are broadly associated with data and its uses - and not inappropriate - we will approve it to appear on the site.

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Any stats on Joe Public?

I thought this site was designed to PREVENT Joe Public from getting access to data. It's so nerdy.

Anybody know the percentage of UK citizen who are familiar with XML ... or SPARQL, to allow them to answer their questions. 1%? 2%? The answer must be here somewhere.......

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Public Access

It may be possible, that by keeping it open, ideas may come from the public who are affected by or have been party to the statistics in some way. Also, there may well be a number of hobbyist techies who can contribute. Surely this is no different from open source projects?

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Why restrict anything

The majority of the best things online have come through individuals working together in a open source manner, sure you might have the odd person gripe but that shouldn't effect your efforts or use of the site.

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Increased usage has got to be

Increased usage has got to be a good thing surly. With more users more information can be shared, which has to benefit everyone. This site also has the potential to become something much more powerful. Maybe it would be an idea to have more defined sections.

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Some of us are both: I for instance was on the beta-test panel of the StatuteLaw DB.
The whole question is one of transparency. It started with Law: the volume of statute is such as to make an appeal against the presumption that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" an inevitability. The corollary of that is that if the population doesn't have access to accurate data, then it cannot apply that law safely. The big problem now is finding the needle in the haystack.

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Public Data

This place and these fora seem, to me, to be a place where the general public and developers should be able to interact. Example, general public want a tool to be able to visualise how their money is being spent in their area. A developer may see that and think that they are able to write that app using this data. That seems to be a sensible way for developers to find out what users want. Or was the original poster thinking that the general public do not know what they want until they are told?
I work with a lot of this data and regularly see developers take data and use it to produce things which are meaningless, because while they understand the systems and processes to manipulate data they do not always understand the constraints on use of data or indeed the meaning of the data itself.

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How could the data be classed

How could the data be classed as open, if, it isn't!?

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For your details, this really

For your details, this really is public information, and a internet site compensated for by public money. The community have each correct to access it and to become exposed for the processes involved in creating new makes use of for data. In case you want to form a developer-only clique, develop your own internet site!

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