Mayor of London opens up public data

Bumbling Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced that City Hall is to release online,"huge realms" of previously unavailable data for everyone to see and use free of charge.

The information will be made available through the new ‘London Datastore’ website and is part of the Mayor’s ongoing campaign to boost transparency and accountability in the capital.

Johnson hooked up on web link up with the CES show in Las Vegas with President Barack Obama’s Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer, NASA to announce the move.

The Datastore will contain over 200 different sets of information and will be open for business on 29 January.

The mayor's office said the site will be the first of its kind in the UK and will give London’s software developers the chance to exploit, for free, the commercial value of the data and use it to create applications that will make life easier for people in the capital.

The Mayor also welcomed the announcement from Channel 4's 4iP fund that up to £200,000 would be made available to develop the most innovative ideas using data from the Datastore and other public data sets.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, whiffled: “The superb new London ‘Datastore’ will unleash valuable facts and figures that been languishing for far too long in the deepest recesses of City Hall. I firmly believe that access to information should not just be the preserve of institutions and a limited elite. Data belongs to the people particularly that held by the public sector and getting hold of it should not involve a complex routine of jumping through a series of ever decreasing hoops."

"I want London, as the greatest city in the UK, to be at the forefront of this revolution, that will not only increase democracy, but also provide a potential money-spinner for the city’s hugely important software development sector.”

Google's UK Managing Director Matt Brittin chipped in: “At Google we've always believed that greater access to information and public data is good both for democracy and for the economy. There are great opportunities for British businesses to make innovative use of publicly available data in ways that can be useful to consumers and commercially valuable.“

A prototype of the London Datastore is accessible from today here. The full service will be available from 29 January.