Data Jim, but not as we know it…

With the coming of ‘Open Government’ a project that it must be said is very laudible, there comes a danger that the overeagerness to get ‘stuff’ out there can sometimes lead to dangers.

I am not being melodramatic here, but data needs carefiul management, not censoring, but management. The new police.uk site shows hot spots of local crime, if you were actually lucky enough to get online. After several attempts I have given up and looked not at the data, but at the source.

It would seem that the data used is quite ‘raw’ that is comes from a variety of sources in a variety of ways. The data can be edited at any time, changed or removed. The key thing here though is that there are probably hundreds of end points all adding data using their own set of definitions. What is a crime? Where was the location (what about at a junction of two roads)? How many were involved? How old is the crime?

Data can only be useful if it has a core set of standards, and not as the case seems to be here - variable set of core standards.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/feb/02/uk-crime-maps-developers-unhappy

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