Filling the opendata gaps

Hadley Beeman has posted about a great little project idea:

…there’s a gap between the government opendata vision and the reality. The datasets are often released full of unintelligible codes, information that the developers outside government (building apps and visualisations) would love to have. This makes sense to me: I’ve seen budget codes, cost centre codes, programme codes in my various government roles… I can imagine that analysis would be complicated if you didn’t have a legend or translations for them…

…The first thing we need is a tool to crowdsource metadata about government data. This should allow those who know something about the data (civil servants, local government officers, etc.) to easily mark it in such a way that everyone can see and use their knowledge.

Essentially, we will be adding to the datasets as they come out of government, so that everyone who wants to use them will have better data to work with.

It’s fair to say that I know nothing about opendata, other than that it is probably a good thing and that the more context that can be added to it, the better. It seems like Hadley’s project is a sound one and one that if it succeeds will brings a great deal of benefit both to government and to citizens – via our friends, the civil hackers.