DATA HELP: A site to marshall arguments and explain open data

Nick Bilton - Earthquake dataThink there’s a lack of good resources to get your head around open data? Not any more.

Two bright people – and me – have drawn up an easy to follow blog post and data wiki

to marshall argument and counter argument.

There’s also a series of links to more resources, examples and case studies.

Why bother? Two reasons. Firstly, open data is a revolution that’s sweeping government both national and local. Politicians in the US, UK and further afield recognise it is a vital tool for transparency and just plain better democracy.

Second and most important reason for the sites? Because there are lessons to learn from social media.

In 2008 visionaries in local government were seen to be taking risks by adopting social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

What helped win internal arguments were websites like this (insert link) that helped marshall arguments and build a repository of case studies.

I’m convinced the local data blog can play a role in doing the same.

It’s a true collaborative effort between two hugely talented people Michael Grimes from the Citizenship Foundation, Stuart Harrison from Lichfield Council and myself whose day job is at Walsall Council.

It occurred to all of us that a resource like this would be helpful after meeting at the West Midlands local data panel which helps feed back ideas to the people behind the excellent UK data respository

It aims to be a place to read arguments and counter arguments for open data and also to help answer the question ‘what is open data?’

In the spirit of web 2.0 and open data we are throwing open our effort to colleagues from the public sector and importantly to citizens too.

Go and have a look. Comment. Add a link or an argument.

It was Charles Dawin who wrote: “In the long history of human kind (and animal kind too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

We’d be happy if you came to the site to collaborate. Or failing that just come and have a look at the trams scooting about on the Helsinki realtime tram map. They’re utterly brilliant.

Creative Commons credits

Earthquake map – Nick Bilton

Maths – Haags Uitburo

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  1. Thanks Dan, keep up the great work. Essential to motivate, harness and mobilise active citizenship (not to be confused with ‘Big Society,!) Can you add the new retweet button to your posts please?

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