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Open season declared on Government data

Wednesday, 4 September 2013
Author: Liam Mannix, Indaily
Premier Jay Weatherill signs the open data declaration this morning.

Premier Jay Weatherill signs the open data declaration this morning.
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Despite initial opposition from bureaucrats, open data is reshaping the way the State Government and public service interacts with the public and the media.

It's not often a government initiative significantly improves the ability of the media to tell stories. But in the last year, InDaily has revealed:

  • The number of pubs running live music in South Australia has dropped, while the total number of pubs and hotels has increased
  • Federal money in South Australia flows disproportionately to military and defence contractors
  • And we charted every baby name in South Australia from the 1940s (peak 'Jay' was in 1982)
  • Tomorrow - a visualisation of every earthquake in South Australia since 1840 by location and magnitude

    All of those stories have been made possible by the State Government's push to have the public service release all of the data and records it keeps online, through hub website

    "We already have among the highest number of data sets openly licensed in Australia," Weatherill said this morning.

    "Opening our data to all means that we can work together to design policy and projects that will benefit our citizens.

    "As the custodian of a significant amount of data, the State Government can help to fuel a boom in the local digital marketplace but it's equally important that industry and community groups release their data too."

    Despite being up for most of the year, getting the data sets from the public service has not always been an easy task.

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