While UK Local Authorities still struggle to provide public access to their geospatial data because of the bizarre OS rules on derived data, the residents of San Francisco have much rich data at their disposal.
Following on from the federal data.gov portal launched earier this year, DataSF – DataSF is a local version providing access to government data sets for download in common files formats.
This really is not something difficult to do, and allows both citizens potential entrepreneurs access to information their taxes have funded the collection and development of in the first place.
From an industry insider point of view this approach is of note also because rather than building a complex metedata driven portal, a simple download site has been built quickly with the focus on making information accessible.
It would be great to see some UK local Authorities follow this example, but I fear there is a small snag..
Who owns the data ?
Written and submitted from the Google Office, London