Open data is all about 'opening up' non-personal data held by the government and making it freely available to you.
This idea is underpinned by the philosophy that data generated or collected by organisations in the public sector should belong to the taxpayers, wherever financially feasible and where releasing it won’t violate any laws or rights to privacy (either for citizens or government staff).
Open data is information that:
is free to use for any legal purpose under the Open Government Licence
contains no personal data and meets Data Protection Act legislation
is published in a form that makes it easy to manipulate in software like mobile apps.
A list of bus stops, details of train timetables or information about healthcare providers in your area are examples of open data.
When the data is structured in a certain way, enabling it to be combined with other data to create something new, it becomes known as linked data. For example, combining a list of bus stops with postcode data to create a map of bus stops near your home.
The aim of open and linked data is to allow you to view information, and re-use it in useful ways which can help increase access to public services for everyone.
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