Just wanted to draw attention of UK Wikimedians and free culture types to
data.gov.uk's Request a dataset page.
If there is some government data (public data, not the NHS records of your favourite
celebrities, obviously) that you think should be released and can make a plausible case
for how it could help improve free culture projects, you can request it at the above
I've just put in a request for GIS data from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and
Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), which could be imported into OpenStreetMap, and
used to create historic maps for Wikipedia and Commons.
Government policy regarding open data seems to be currently that they want to release as
much as possible, but they are putting a priority on releasing stuff that is of economic
and social value. Economic value in this case might mean something like making smartphone
apps available that visualize government data in useful ways (the economic value coming
from people being prepared to pay for the apps, or their being more likely to buy things
or use services based on the information displayed in those apps). But the social value is
important too: we as individual Wikimedians can give government examples of positive use
cases for this kind of data.
(It'd also be nice if governments could start seeing us crazy Creative Commons free
culture people less as radical anarchistic nutjobs telling the government that they are
wrong about everything and show that we actually want to preserve our shared historical
and cultural materials and data...)