Give us back our crown jewels

So says The Grauniad. Its talking about public access to publicly collected data in the UK. As near as I can determine, in the US most govt-collected data is in theory and in practice freely available to citizens. In the UK this is very definitely not true: the most obvious example is the Ordnance Survey, which collects mapping data. Instead of being what it should be - a government body funded to collect, organise and disseminate mapping data, it is a psuedo-commerical organisation with revenue targets to meet by selling data, mostly straight back to other government bodies. Other examples are photos (including those from BAS :-() and scientific papers.

The Grauniad argues, and I agree, that attempting to "commercialise" these things is stupid: the goverment doesn't run businesses well, and anyway the revenue made from selling the products is probably far less that the extra economic growth (including more taxes...) that would occur if the data were just available. Not to mention that a whole pile of red tape could suddenly be axed.

That article is, apparently, the start of a Campaign: hopefully it will succeed.

[Updates: the Grauniad now has a blog about this and a web page. Both have appallingly bad web design, which is a bit odd]

Tags

More like this

How about this for misleading tripe from the Grauniad: Yup, according to them the reactor has killed 4277 people. Or at least, that is what it looks like. Of course, you could also argue that they are trying to claim that the reactors have made the Nikkei go up 5.68%, but no-one would believe that…
If you haven't been following UK politics recently, you can be excused, cos its been dull. The main story has been "when will Blair go" and "will he name a date". My reading of this has been, why should he, when no-one has the guts to push him out. Yesterdays news was that the Sun (dubious low-iq…
The grauniad has an article in the IT section about "A cracking alternative to cement". They claim that cement is 10% of anthro CO2 (or 5-10% lower down; although that includes asphalt, which for some reason counts as cement based. Odd) is from cement. That didn't fit with my memories. So I dig out…
Random interesting snippets... Grauniad has a sudden burst of interesting science articles and features! Blogger are busy as always. interesting Grauniad article on ALMA also an interesting teaser on ELT the science weekly podcast for this week also looks good - climate porn, Hawking on survival…