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UK.gov launches data mash-up competition

Not f*ck-up - they can do that already

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The UK government is starting a competition to find funky, Web 2.0 ways to mash up its data, man.

Suggestions like "put it on an unencrypted CD and lose it" will not be welcome. Or leave it on a laptop on a train. Or dump a file on a train. Or so on ad nauseum.

Instead, cabinet office minister Tom Watson is offering a symbolic prize, and 20 grand development money, in the hope of finding new ways to use government data which would otherwise fester away in Whitehall - or get lost, of course.

There is NHS data and neighbourhood statistics including the 2001 census, crime figures, housing information and even some Ordnance Survey information. The mash-up example used on the "Power of Information Taskforce" is a crime map.

Ideas already put forward include a roadworks API - which could be linked to satnavs, and Vandalsnapper - which would use geotagged photos of graffiti which could then automatically inform the relevant council.

The competition closes at the end of September and the winner will be announced in the second week of October. The lucky soul will receive "a symbolic trophy trawled from our archives".

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