Thursday, 16 July 2009

PSIHs - a change of tack required?

With all the clamour over PSIHs in recent months, one TF has been in the spotlight. One can debate the reasons for this - another time. This has rather 'allowed' others (of the PSIH ilk) to carry on apparently regardless or oblivious to the changes going on around them. Say what you like about OS but this is far less true of them and they should be priased where praise is due.

But, wherefore the others; if I were them I would be sharpening my channel engagement, developing more attractive licensing and pricing terms, honing my knowledge of social media, looking at metadata dissemination and generally trying to mitigate future onslaught of interest in my behaviour.

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places but I sense a head in the sand approach by most - channels are being undermined, licence development is out of kilter with licence agreements, screen scraping has become the modus operandi of choice for many fed up with the vacuum and social engagement is limited to 'contact us'.

I really think it is about time that vocal proponents of 'libre' data turned their attention to the '000s (Cameron said more than 10,000 - he should publish the list for starters!) of PSIHs large and small (from local government to executive agencies) that actually represent the true value of tax funded data. The demand should be for mandated metadata capture and publishing - there are a number of exemplars already that provide effective levers with which to acheive this goal. Value can then truly be in the eye of the beholder.

ps As I said I love maps and they are the best contextual tool and have their own value in relation to the use to which they're being put; but, generally that use and therefore value depends on the other data being contextualised/hacked/mashed and the scale at which that is most effective. The evident need is for other data....

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