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Paul Johnston

Very clear and very relevant analysis. I think the focus on giving people the data they want (and ask for) is absolutely right - much better than the current game of "I'm publishing more data sets than you!".

James C

Good analysis; if anything I think the second method is a tad understated and there is a significant linked omission.

The zeroes and 1s of data can mean, usually do mean, very little without a context. With context comes value, to citizens, agencies and others. It is often only when data is linked back (to the policies, programmes, responsibilities etc that anything other than axe-grinding and knee-jerk media frenzy can result. Trouble is those things are not being released as yet and if they ever are explicit relationships with specific open data sets ought to be embedded to give a jumping off point for improved analysis (of course other data are likely to have been impacted by a given policy or programme objective rather like cumulative impacts of toxins in the environment). Combine this with the issue of time or persistence over time....using a close to home example: report a pothole, contractor throws wet tar in, its fixed, first shower of rain its there again and so the cycle goes on - what do the stats on road repairs show, probably that the council is quick at responding and not that the low cost contractor is rubbish or milking the contract?

So, concur broadly, but the real rewards (and a sound platform for maintaining and developing an open data regime) are in the net social and economic benefits that can come over time if the data can be subject to genuinely informative contextual insight.

Gail

Thanks for this - very useful advice. Particularly the focus on useful applications rather than attractive visualisations. I agree with Paul; quality over quantity.

BarryJOGorman

Blogged on this today in context of risks to open data because of wikileaks http://www.barryjorman.com

Curious Ellie

You made your point number five rather well:
"do not insist that the gov't must publish any and all extant, non-private data."

We need meaningful data. Generally speaking, we have our hands full merely with that, and with scrubbing or remapping it to derive something useful.

You wrote a good post here. As Barry said, it becomes particularly interesting in light of wikileaks that had not yet occurred when you posted this. Good insights...
Thank you.

Ambjörn Elder

Barry makes an interesting connection between open data and wikileaks and his blog post (actually at http://barryjogorman.com/). He discusses how the perceived dangers of wikileaks might influence the inclination to open up troves of data on the part of those in government who collect it and control its dissemination.

Karon Aaland

My God! She is incredibly glamorous! Thanks for the post, dear. Your blog is really very nice and amazing. Keep posting.
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