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US and UK governments embrace 'open data'

The US Open Government Directive, released on December 8, 2009, instructs all federal agencies to provide high-value information to the public online in open, accessible, machine-readable formats. This adds to the momentum already in place at Data.gov to "increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government." The Open Knowledge Foundation blog describes progress to date and milestones to come.

The UK government also recently announced similar plans to open up data, and the imminent launch of a new Data.gov.uk developer's site.

Another Open Knowledge Foundation blog post summarises what we can expect, including the release of the following the datasets: # public services performance data - including on crime, hospitals and schools # new transport data # geospatial data from Ordnance survey

Tim Berners-Lee has advised both governments to release data in a way that will add to the Linked Data Web, paving the way for the realization of his envisaged Semantic Web.
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