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 22 January 2010

Welsh Statutory Instruments

Posted in: OPSI              

15 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Francis Tyers

Public Sector Information Holder: OPSI

Information Asset: Welsh Statutory Instruments

The problem

The Welsh Statutory Instruments are released under Crown Copyright, and are thus incompatible with free / open-source software because of restrictions on use.

My ideal solution

My ideal solution would be to release the proceedings under dual licence... CC-BY-SA and GNU GPL. Obviously these are copyleft licences, those which I favour. I would be happy with a non-copyleft free/open licence, such as CC-BY or LGPL, or the MIT licence. Anything GPL-compatible I would be delighted with.

What I would do

I would use the information to make free machine translation systems between Welsh and English.

Posted at Friday, 22 January 2010 09:47:41 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 5 December 2008

Information Asset Registers

Posted in: OPSI              

1 Supporter so far - add your name

Posted by: Workshop on Finding and Re-using Public Information

Public Sector Information Holder: Office of Public Sector Information

Information Asset: Information Asset Registers

The problem

At the Open Knowledge Foundation Workshop on Finding and Re-using Public Information, a list of 15-20 key government / public datasets were identified. Information Asset Registers were one of these.

There is a requirement under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations for organisations to publish a list of main documents available for re-use. The INSPIRE Directive requires similarly well described information assets. These lists should be themselves re-usable.

The Office of Public Sector Information has for some time aggregated Information Asset Registers and provided a search of them. This is a service that anyone should be able to provide.

My ideal solution

Information Asset Registers published in open, reusable formats such as XML or RDF.

What I would do

Build services which allow people to more easily find what information is available for re-use.

Posted at Friday, 05 December 2008 08:49:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #   

 7 July 2008

Efficiency & Fairness White Paper

Posted in: Copyright notice | Creative Commons | OPSI | White Paper              

4 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: William Heath

Public Sector Information Holder: Office of Public Sector Information

Information Asset: Efficiency & Fairness white paper and future white papers

The problem

This is a minor irritation not a big issue. But the (c) Crown copyright notice on recent Cabinet Office Excellence and fairness white paper reads:

"The text in this document may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context."

This sounds like a tax on dissent. It casts government in a bad light because it's hard to see how it would be enforced or damages assessed.

My ideal solution

there were simply a crown copyright or creative commons notice, and people were allowed to quote this publicly paid-for material for any purpose - critical, satirical, polemic or just plain old discussing policy which is surely what a white paper is intended for.

What I would do

Exactly the same as I do now, except I wouldnt gripe about it.

Also we would all lose that nagging feeling that
a) we might face sanctions for quoting extracts and being critical and
b) government is still being paranoid and unreasonable.

Posted at Monday, 07 July 2008 09:34:44 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [1] #   

London Gazette Supplements

Posted in: ATOM Feed | London Gazette | OPSI | REST API              

6 Supporters so far - add your name

Posted by: Harry Metcalfe

Public Sector Information Holder: Office of Public Sector Information

Information Asset: London Gazette Supplements

The problem

Notices & Supplements are not available in any machine readable format. They contain a wide range of extremely useful information about the activities of government and business.

My ideal solution

I would suggest two improvements that should run alongside each other:

  • A REST API to query the existing database of notices and supplements. Data should be returned in XML or some equivalently useful format, and the API should be able to perform text searches, limit results by date or the type of notice/supplement, etc.
  • An Atom feed for new notices. The system should provide a "see everything" feed as well as allowing users to specify what they'd like to see more narrowly, along the same lines as the database search API. This is essentially the same as the API, but provides 'live' access to the latest information in the gazette, rather than a search for its back catalogue.

What I would do

This is a rich dataset that provides many opportunities for innovation. One could use the information to monitor for the registration of company names of interest and to be notified of corporate insolvencies. Notifications of upcoming major roadworks could be overlaid onto a map, as could applications to discharge fluids into national waterways.Various notifications of applications for planning are published in the Gazette, which could be of great interest to those affected by them, and could be worked into services such as

There is such a wide variety of data in this dataset that the possibilities are limited only by imagination.

Posted at Monday, 07 July 2008 09:20:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  Comments [0] #