It might seem unlikely, but it’s true. The British government, or, more specifically, the Power of Information Taskforce, has around $40,000 to give away to people who come up with the best new uses for public information in health, education and criminal justice, according to the BBC. And the government is releasing many gigabytes of information as encouragement – although none of it involves any personal details.
What is available includes data from the NHS, the Office for National Statistics, and the Ordnance Survey, among other items.
The Taskforce has already put together a wiki that can act as inspiration for those interested in the mash-up competition, including a site that maps crime around the UK, and Rate My Prison, that allows people visiting inmates to rate the facilities. But they’re seeking more innovation.
Cabinet office minister Tom Watson, who heads the Taskforce, said:
"If someone comes up with a great idea we will make a prototype and then hopefully a fully-fledged piece of technology that will make peoples’ lives better. I strongly believe in co-design and in the digital age it makes sense to work with citizens to make public service better."
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