Friday, July 04, 2008


WHEN: The competition will close at the end of September and the winner will be announced in the second week of October.

WHAT: From their site. This is a competition about information, about communication and above all about making government information more useful.

The government produces masses of information on what is happening around the UK. Infomation on crime, on health, on education. However, this information is often hidden away in obscure publications or odd corners of websites. Data tucked away like this isn't of use to the ultimate owner of that information YOU.

The Power of Information Taskforce want to hear your ideas on how to reuse, represent, mashup or combine the information the government holds to make it useful.The next best thing is to point you at the explanation in the Guardian, where I found it first.
WHAT... MORE?: Check the site.
HOW MUCH: Looks free. With a £20k prize!
COMMENTS: If you have some use for data, and the measn to put it to good use, as does, might be worth a punt! Mind you, this story - launches data mash-up competition - from the Register, spins it another way.

Addendum: Had a quick scope and have a few first thought:


However, I am a little concerned about IP/idea protection.

Yes there is the potential of a £20k prize, but if it's a goodie then surely the idea will be worth/generate a lot more?

The FAQ on the site clearly outlines the first, and most major danger in this regard, namely (and unlike a patent or trademark) an 'idea' a lot trickier to protect.

It's one thing to be viewed by a limited number of judges (though in the case of some gov/quango efforts I have been part of, possibly even worse), but here your concept is laid out raw and ready to rip.

And I'm hard pressed to think how many decent notions involving the use and/or manipulation of data won't be essentially web-based ideas and rather open to... 'homage'.

The trick would seem to be to tempt in the submission enough to generate a bite, but without giving away too much.

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