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back to article UK.gov descales public data with new corp launch

The UK government may have abolished a shedload of quangos in recent months, but the Cabinet Office has arguably just created a shiny, new one – step forward the Public Data Corporation. Data and government bodies will be squished into one organisation to make yet-to-be-revealed datasets available to the public, Cabinet Office …

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FAIL

oh no...

Cue lost USB sticks, posted CD's, poorly thought out data exports...

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Unhappy

Charging for OS maps

I was fairly annoyed when the OS only opened up the less detailed maps to online view, but on the other hand I don't see why Joe Bloggs down the road who never goes hiking should have to subsidise my maps either.

Of course, the 'Explorer' walking maps contain both relevant and largely unchanging data regarding topography/streams/valleys/forest/paths/etc and irrelevant dynamic data on city buildings that is arguably more to do with planning matters than 'exploring'.

Perhaps the former aspect should be released in high detail as it has already been paid for many times over, and the latter charged to planners/etc who require up-to-date information.

That way walkers won't be subsidising them.

But it could then be argued that the main use is by the council itself in arbitrating such matters - and that indeed the taxpayer should fund the whole business.

IF that is the case, then surely the only reason to not release the data is so it can be flogged to some Tory-Boy mate, who then flogs it back to the public for a nice mark-up; and so the walkers/etc subsidise the councils duties for all taxpayers, and helps another true-blue scumbag get even richer.

Not impressed Mr Maude - but perhaps there's another angle on this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charging for OS maps

"IF that is the case, then surely the only reason to not release the data is so it can be flogged to some Tory-Boy mate, who then flogs it back to the public for a nice mark-up; and so the walkers/etc subsidise the councils duties for all taxpayers, and helps another true-blue scumbag get even richer."

Remember the Tory Boy "get rich quick" plan:

1. Nominate public institution for privatisation.

2. Appoint yourself, chums as "advisors".

3. Profit! (Privatise the institution and give yourself, chums a large "well done" payment and some shares.)

Just to avoid any Britard squabbling about use of the word "Tory" in the above, feel free to replace it with "Labour", since their stint in power showed similar levels of corrupt behaviour.

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RJ

Yes Minister

All I can see in my head is the final episode of Yes Minister when Sir Arnold informs Sir Humphrey that he is going to take up the post of head of the "Center of freedom of information" to make sure that "It doesn't get misused"

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Tax payers money

“make more data free at the point of use, where this is appropriate and consistent with ensuring value for taxpayers’ money”.

The point he seems to have missed is that the people have already paid for this data through their taxes and yet they still want to make a quick buck by selling it to us. Even the US treats government research, funded through taxes, as being in the public domain; so if in the land of free enterprise this should be so, why can't the government of this country grasp that idea?

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Black Helicopters

Paging Mister Orwell, paging Mister Orwell...

Loks like the Ministry of Truth is here with a bang.

Step Forward:

RealFact (almost the truth)

GoodFact (the spin)

and, of course,

Bad (Banned and never talked about, because it's the actual truth) Fact...

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Anonymous Coward

First question:

Are the PDC FOIable?

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Anonymous Coward

Extension...

It would be nice if this extended to other 'public' information, such as postcode databases for free use by non-profit making organisations and the public. But somehow I doubt it.

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Unhappy

Postcodes? Rail timetables?

Nah, thought not.

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