Guest blog post by Jim Morton, Applications Architect at Warwickshire County Council
Last week we launched the Warwickshire Open Data site at http://opendata.warwickshire.gov.uk, joining other authorities such as London, Lincoln, Lichfield and Kent who have already started opening up their data to the public.
We hope that it will provide a greater level of transparency about the work of the council, as well as stimulating the development of websites and applications that can make use of our data, to provide new benefits to our citizens and visitors to the area.
It is going to take a while to build the site up as the focal point for all of our public facing information but we have taken some positive steps to build the foundations of how we should work with data from now on.
Working from the Identify, Represent and Expose principles outlined in Jeni Tennison’s blog, we have worked on getting information out of the organisation, then building a technical solution and set of standards that fit with our ongoing work to introduce open, non-proprietary standards across our ICT architecture.
The other key element of the project that links to the strategy is the use of cloud hosting to deal with any scaling or demand issues.
All of the data we plan to share is confirmed as public facing, meaning that we have avoided any difficult issues around security and risk. Additionally, this means that we have been able to make use of a standard Creative Commons license.
We’re really keen to make the data as available as possible so we have converged with the metadata scheme set out by data.gov.uk so that we can be listed on their site as well.
To publicise this work more widely we will be running an “official” launch in the next week or so.
Additionally we will be running a Hack Warwickshire competition, which will give all staff and citizens the chance to win exciting prizes by coming up with the best use of any of the open data available on the site.