The BBC reports that the UK government is releasing terabytes of data to the country to enable users to create new ways of using it that might be beneficial to the country as a whole. This is a fantastic idea, in my opinion, as it really embraces transparency, the open source movement, and recognizes that the country’s people have the best ideas, and not necessarily just those who happen to work for government.
One idea we’ve had for a while is to map patent, licensing, and technology transfer data back to grant applications, to give a true reflection of how important federal research investment is to the advancement of science and the betterment of society as a whole. If the US government released enough data, we could easily do it.
What could you do with government data if you had access to it? (Turn down your sarcasm buttons, please!)