UK Contest Frees Government Data

There’s plenty of public information out there in the UK, and the government wanted people to do something positive with it. So they began a competition, Show Us A Better Way, offering a total of $125,000 in cash prizes and aid in development, for the best new sites creatively using that information.

It attracted over 450 entrants, ranging from sites showing the nearest public toilet to one illustrating school catchment areas. But the grand winner was a site called Can I Recycle It? which lets people find local recycling facilities, the BBC reports.

Cabinet office minister Tom Watson MP, who helped devise the competition, said:

"By trusting the public and throwing it open to them to put forward their ideas, the solutions are of real, practical use. Ultimately, this is about building something from the bottom up, rather than having Whitehall dictate from the centre."