Government opens competition on data mash-up

The government is offering a £20,000 prize fund to anyone who can develop a new product that can improve public information communication.

In a bid to free up as much information and data as possible, the government is launching an open competition for people to design a product or an idea that can mash information together.

The Power of Information Taskforce, launched by Cabinet Office (CO) Minister Tom Watson, is offering a 20,000 prize fund for an idea that will make information accessible to the public.

The information that could be incorporated into the project includes the location of schools and hospitals, planning applications and mapping details from Ordinate Survey maps to name but some examples.

The competition was launched on the Show Us a Better Way website earlier this week.

Examples of what the Taskforce is looking for can also be found on the site, some of which include a website that maps crime in the UK and a FixMyStreet website.

According to a CO spokesperson, the basic idea for the competition follows on from the Power of Information Report, which took a practical look at the use and development of citizen and state-generated information in the UK.

The CO spokesperson insisted that no personal information or data would be accessible as part of the project.

The winner or winning parties will be decided by the Power of Information Taskforce, chaired by Richard Allan, the former Liberal Democrat MP and head of government affairs in the UK and Ireland for Cisco Systems.

The contest will run until the end of September and the winner will be announced in the first two weeks of October.

The CO spokesperson confirmed that around 60 ideas had already been submitted since the competition's launch.

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