[Title Reference: All Your Base Are Belong To Us]
The subject of both was vaguely similar – the opening of ‘government’ data in order to stimulate economic growth. In the case of DETI, it’s regarding the development of a community of developers who will be able to respond quickly to government identification of unmet needs – similar to the recent calls by the TSB (which was inspired by the DETI project writeup).
All of this will be progressed later this week in a meeting which will include other departments in a non-committal and ‘no prejudice’ discussion of the value of opening select datasets to the public eye and, more importantly, to the eyes of eager developers for the construction of apps for web and mobile.
I’m interested in finding some local developers who would be interested in these datasets. We’ve begun the process with Code4Pizza and Code4Pizza will remain as the social gathering for information dissemination and hack sessions – but there needs to be a group of local developers who have a vested interest in getting access to new datasets for commercial objectives.
From the CAAN perspective, they already publish their data in a limited fashion, restricted only by OSNI/L&PS licensing (and yes, I’d like to see some minor changes there to facilitate developer update). They, like many agencies and departments, have a revenue target to hit and I reckon that some canny developers would be interested in a revenue share in return for access to the data and some co-branding. CAAN are the body responsible for providing information on walks, cycle paths and canoeing activities in Northern Ireland. My pitch this afternoon went along the lines of they have 200 “quality” walks and they need to get more people walking them, they need more information on the people walking them and they’d like to be able to include safety and amenity information. That sounds like a perfect solution for a motivated developer.
Adding in game mechanics (Achievements!) for completing walks, gathering information on how frequently they walk them, sending out information on organised gatherings and also querying how many people are in a walking party are all activities that would be done well from an iPhone, Android phone or Blackberry. If the developer did it right.
So, if you’re interested in getting involved, then get in touch.