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The open data movement is growing apace. What better demonstration of this than news that the UK coalition government is making its Combined Online Information System (COINS) freely available on the Internet, inviting people not only to access the data but to re-use it too?

COINS, The Guardian newspaper points out, is one of the world's biggest government databases and provides, "the most detailed record of public spending imaginable. Some 24m individual spending items in a CSV file of 120GB presents a unique picture of how the [UK] government does its business."

For The Guardian the release of COINS marks a high point in a crusade it began in March 2006, when it published an article called "Give us back our crown jewels" and launched the Free Our Data campaign. Much has happened since. "What would have been unbelievable a few years ago is now commonplace," The Guardian boasted when reporting on the release of COINS.

Why did The Guardian start the Free Our Data campaign? ... more ...

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Comment by Sepp Hasslberger on June 28, 2010 at 19:19
Thank you for the link here.

It is a great argument and yes, openness with data is only a first step.

The government decision process has to be opened up as well - if we want to have something approaching real democracy, rather than the top-down command style governments we experience today.

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