In the four years since the original London Datastore was launched, the supporting technology has improved rapidly. More significantly though, disciplines such as urban informatics and the analytical tools associated with them have become more sophisticated and accessible outside of academia. The sheer volume and scope of data available for potential exploitation, as well as approaches to ensure its accessibility and quality have also advanced significantly.
We therefore believe that the time has come to adopt a more nuanced, co-ordinated and pro-active approach to open data across the capital city, so that its full benefits can be realised and it can be applied to maximum effect in the pursuit of social, economic and environmental improvement in our communities. Often, the problems we face are the same and they travel across the administrative boundaries which divide us. It was with this in mind that the Smart London Plan highlighted the prospect of the SLBP.
Our overall aim for this partnership is to significantly improve and cement the open data approach of London government as a whole. We want this to be a shared endeavour across all levels of our city government and suggest that work should focus on themes such as London government as:
Open data sharer - promoting the release and sharing of data in pursuit of service innovation and better lives;
Open data user - establishing a series of public policy challenges and applying new forms of data analytics to them;
Catalyst - creating the developer environment and presenting the opportunities for innovation to the ‘market’;
Convenor - broadening the partnerships with London’s world class academic institutions to boost our processing and analytical powers; and
Setter of policy and standards - ensuring that in all of the above, we adopt the highest possible standards.